Somali journalist Hassan Hanafi was sentenced to death by firing squad by a Mogadishu court on Thursday after conspiring with the al-Shabab militant group in the killing of five fellow reporters.

Hanafi was a household name to many radio listeners in Somalia after joining the popular Quran FM station, reports the BBC.

He left in 2006 to become an online reporter for a leading Somali website.

He later joined al-Shabab and ran a secret bureau, monitoring news and threatening any reporter who spoke out against al-Shabab or portrayed the group in a bad light.

He would summon the offending journalists to meet him at his car.

Some were killed on the spot while others wisely declined and went on to flee the country.

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