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Africa
Deaths in Mogadishu mosque blast
Al-Shabab leader likely target of explosions in Somali capital's Bakara market area.
Last Modified: 01 May 2010 12:27 GMT

At least 15 people have reportedly been killed in two explosions in the centre of the Somali capital, Mogadishu.

Al Jazeera has learned that two successive blasts were heard inside the Bakara market mosque on Saturday.

They were apparently targeting a leader of the anti-government group al-Shabab, who was delivering a sermon in the mosque.

An al-Shabab official told the news agency AFP that the target was Sheikh Fuad
Mohamed Khalaf, also known as Fuad Shongole, who is the group's head of mobilisation.

It was unclear whether he was injured and there was no immediate claim of responsibility.

"Sheikh Fuad used to teach religious lessons at the mosque every Saturday. He was there when the blasts went off," Farhan Alin, a local businessman, said.

"The whole area was cordoned of by scores of al-Shabab militants. Nobody could get inside."

The busy Bakara market area is controlled by anti-government groups al-Shabab and Hizb-ul Islam.

Over the last three years the market has seen frequent shelling between
fighters and troops loyal to the government, with scores of people killed.

Source:
Al Jazeera and agencies
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