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Death for Somaliland aid killers

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Death for Somaliland aid killers

BBC Monday, 14 November 2005, 11:15 GMT


Eight men have been sentenced to death in Somaliland for the murder of three foreign aid workers.

Seven others were given life sentences for their part in the attacks. Police say the killers were Islamic radicals.


Richard and Enid Eyeington from the UK were killed in 2003 at the school they had helped to build. Kenyan Flora Cheruiyot was killed early in 2004.


Somaliland declared independence from Somalia in 1991 but has not been internationally recognised.


The Somaliland court found the attackers guilty of terrorism and banditry.




The men shouted "Allah Akbar" (God is Great) after Judge Abdurahman Jama Hayan finished reading his sentences in a packed courthouse in the Somaliland capital, Hargeisa, reports the AFP news agency.


"We should not be killed for assassinating infidels," some of the men shouted.


But the judge dismissed their protests.


"The religion is very clear. It does not encourage the assassination of innocent Muslims or non-Muslims," he said.


Four of the accused are not in police custody, and were sentenced in absentia.


The Eyeingtons, in their sixties, were killed in Sheikh, 140km (87 miles) north-east of Hargeisa.


The judge also ordered a further investigation into the murder of Italian aid worker Annalena Tonelli, who was killed a fortnight before the British couple.


The conviction was based on weapons seized by the police, confessions from the accused and statements from witnesses.

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