The Somali insurgent group al-Shabab says it has executed a captured Kenyan soldier and has threatened to kill five other hostages if Kenya does not meet its demands.
In a statement, the al-Qaida-linked group said it executed a Kenyan army private at midnight Thursday after the Kenyan government did not meet its deadline for releasing prisoners it says are being held on terror charges.
The group says it will kill five remaining Kenyan hostages in 72 hours if its demand are not met. Kenya has said it will not negotiate with the group and that none of its soldiers are believed to be held by al-Shabab.
The group, which is blamed for a series of kidnappings and terrorist attacks, is fighting to impose its version of strict Islamic law in Somalia. Kenya last year launched a cross-border military operation to hunt down the rebels following attacks on Kenyan soil.
The mission, which has been backed by African Union forces, has wrested control of most of the territory previously claimed by al-Shabab. But it remains capable of carrying out sporadic attacks.
Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.