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.