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03.05.2006 Middle East

Boy, 16, executes father's killer


A teenage Somali boy has stabbed to death his father's killer in a public execution ordered by an Islamic court.

Large crowds gathered at a Koranic school in Somalia's capital, Mogadishu, to watch Mohamed Moallim, 16, stab Omar Hussein in the head and throat.

Hussein had been convicted of killing the boy's father, Sheikh Osman Moallim, after a row about Mohamed's education.

Islamic courts have brought a semblance of order to Mogadishu, imposing Sharia law after years of rule by warlords.

However there is some opposition to the courts. A group of warlords has been fighting a militia loyal to the Islamic courts, which they accuse of links to al-Qaeda.

Under Sharia law those who commit murder are punishable by death.

Keeping the peace

Hussein was tied to a stake and had his head covered by a bag ahead of his execution.

He shouted "There is no God but Allah" as Mohamed Moallim stepped up to take his revenge.

Speaking afterwards, the boy said he felt satisfied that Hussein was dead.

"I am happy now because I killed the man who killed my father," he told the Reuters news agency.

The execution marked the first time the local court in the Bermuda district of Mogadishu had handed down a death penalty, local media reported.

Residents in the nearby area have reported a drop in robberies, murder and general lawlessness since the court began its work, Radio HornAfrik said.

There has been no effective central government in Somalia for 15 years, leaving warlords to fight for control of local areas.