Somali police officials have launched an investigation into the brutal death of Minneapolis-born boarding school student following mounting pressure from U.S. authorities.
In an e-mail to the young man’s family, Sen. Amy Klobuchar’s office said that authorities in Puntland, a region of northern Somalia, had begun a probe into the death of 17-year-old Ammar Abdihamid Abdirahman.
The announcement came weeks after the U.S. State Department got involved, insisting that local authorities take seriously the death of an American citizen.
Officials from the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi increased pressure on Puntland authorities in recent weeks after learning of the death.
Abdirahman was reportedly tortured and killed in early May by a group of attackers who entered his dorm room, said Somali community activist Omar Jamal.
Investigators are expected to look into reports that the headmaster of the since-shuttered school was involved in the assault.
The boy’s cries for help could be heard from outside the room by his roommates, including several other young men from Minneapolis, Jamal said.
An initial autopsy suggested that Abdirahman died of strangulation. For months, Abdirahman’s mother, Shukri Hersi, heard nothing from Puntland authorities about the circumstances surrounding his death, until she decided to contact state authorities for help, Jamal said.