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Somali Islamist Militants Execute Man for Blasphemy

The Somali militant group al-Shabab says it has executed a man in the south of the country for allegedly insulting the Prophet Muhammad.

An al-Shabab court said the man, identified as Mohamud Mursal Muse, confessed to insulting the prophet in the town of Jamame, 30 kilometers north of Kismayo.

An audio recording of an al-Shabab judge obtained by VOA's Somali Service says the court verified the man was mentally fit. The judge said anyone who insults the Prophet Muhammad or Allah will face a punishment of death.

The court did not give further details about the alleged insult.

Al-Shabab media says the man was executed by firing squad outside the town of Jamame.

Al-Shabab has been trying since 2006 to overthrow the Somali government and establish a strict Islamic state.

The group has carried out a string of attacks this week, including a suicide bombing in the northern town of Garowe that targeted a minibus carrying staffers of the United Nations Children's Fund. That attack killed at least seven people.

Earlier this month, al-Shabab staged an attack on Kenya's Garissa University College, killing 148 people. Al-Shabab said that attack was revenge for Kenyan military action in neighboring Somalia.

Kenyan soldiers are part of an African Union force that has helped drive al-Shabab out of the Somali towns and cities it once controlled.