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10 Convicted for Somali Passenger Plane Bomb


FILE - A gaping hole is visible in the side of a plane operated by Daallo Airlines as it sits on the runway of the airport in Mogadishu, Somalia, Feb. 2, 2016.

FILE - A gaping hole is visible in the side of a plane operated by Daallo Airlines as it sits on the runway of the airport in Mogadishu, Somalia, Feb. 2, 2016.

A military tribunal in Somalia has convicted 10 people in connection with a bomb attack on a Daallo Airlines passenger plane in February.

Abdiwali Mahmud Maow and Arais Hashi Abdi, both members of militant group al-Shabab, received sentences of life in prison.

Abdi, who was tried in absentia, was found guilty of masterminding the attack. Security officials said they discovered documents in his house, including a chart showing the attack plan.

Hassan Ali Nur Shute, Somalia's military court chief, said evidence of the suspects' involvement was clear. “All evidences brought at the court, including the videos of airport surveillance cameras, have shown that these people had a hand in planning the blast,” he said.

Surveillance video

Maow was one of two airport workers seen in a surveillance video released by Mogadishu airport security officials days after the attack.

In the video, he takes the laptop and hands it to another employee, who then hands it over to Abdullahi Abdisalam Borleh, the man who was killed when the laptop explosion blew a hole in the plane's fuselage.

The blast went off 20 minutes into the plane's flight from Mogadishu to Djibouti, killed the bomber and left a hole in the plane's fuselage. None of the plane's 74 other passengers and crew members were killed.

Al-Shabab claimed responsibility for the attack.

Monday's verdicts were the first in connection with the blast. The court sentenced eight other people, including a woman, to between six months and four years in prison. Five other defendants were acquitted.

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