Page last updated at 09:10 GMT, Thursday, 12 November 2009

Gunmen kill Somalia pirate judge


A judge known for jailing pirates and Islamists has been shot dead in Somalia's northern Puntland region.

Sheikh Mohamed Abdi Aware was killed outside a mosque in Bossaso, capital of the semi-autonomous region, where many pirates are based.

Mr Aware had recently sent to jail four members of the Islamist al-Shabab group, which is fighting Somalia's UN-backed government.

Bossaso is also a hub for smuggling people from the region to Yemen.

The high court judge was shot several times in the head and chest by two masked men, an eyewitness said.

Three suspects have been arrested, said Puntland Security Minister Mohamed Said Samatar.

Mr Aware was also a member of Puntland's Supreme Judicial Council which supervises the judiciary and nominates senior judicial officials.

"He sentenced hundreds of pirates, people-smugglers and members of al-Shabab during his work in Bossaso," said a cousin, Abdulahi Jama.

"These gangs hate him for his justice. We suspect one of them may have something to do with his assassination."

Also on Wednesday evening masked gunmen killed a Puntland lawmaker as he was heading to his house.

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