Two Airline Bomb Plotters Given Life Imprisonment In Somalia

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FILE - In this Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2016 file photo, of a hole in a plane operated by Daallo Airlines as it sits on the runway of the airport in Mogadishu, Somalia. A military court in the Somali capital has given life terms Monday, May 30, 2016 to two men convicted of masterminding the bombing in February of the airliner which made an emergency landing with a gaping hole in its fuselage. (AP Photo, File)

Men accused of being behind a bomb blast that blew a hole in the fuselage of a plane bound for Djibouti in February, sit in a court in Mogadishu, Somalia, May 30, 2016. REUTERS/StringerA Somali military court on Monday sentenced two men to life imprisonment for masterminding a bomb attack on a Somali flight in February, China’s Xinhua news agency reported.

The Daallo Airlines’ A321 flight was about 15 minutes in the air after take-off when the blast took place, causing a hole in the fuselage.

Pilots then managed to land the aircraft back to Mogadishu Airport. One passenger, believed to be the bomber, was killed while two others suffered minor injuries.

Somalia’s Islamist militant group, Al-Shabaab, said it was responsible.

The court ruling said Abdiweli Mohamud Maow and Areys Hashi Abdi organised the laptop bomb attack on the passenger plane.

Maow was head of the aviation agency at the capital airport and Abdi is a member of Al-Shabaab, according to the court ruling.

Eight other people were sentenced to between six months and four years in prison for their involvement in the attack. Five other suspects were found not guilty and released.

Investigations are still underway to ascertain the identity of the killed passenger.

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