Somali mosque attack kills 32 Muslims, wound Shabaab leader

A second attack in a week at a mosque in Somalia's capital Mogadishu killed at least 32 worshippers and wounded more, witnesses said.

Somali mosque attack kills 32 Muslims, wound Shabaab leader

Two explosions at a mosque in Somalia's capital Mogadishu on Saturday killed 32 worshippers, wounded at least 70 and hurt a senior member of al Shabaab.

Two successive explosions hit the Abdalla Shideye mosque in Bakara Market, not far from the Abu Hureya mosque which was targeted with a landmine that killed one person on Tuesday.

Relatives bent over dead bodies in a corner of the mosque below walls pockmarked by shrapnel. Outside, sheets of cardboard covered other victims and the wounded were pushed on wooden wheelbarrows to awaiting ambulances.

Some witnesses said a senior leader of al Shabaab, Fuad Mohamed Khalaf, was the target.

Bakara Market is a bustling area of the capital dominated by members of the country's two main insurgent groups, Hizbul Islam and al Shabaab.

"Thirty-two people died and more than 70 were wounded in the attack," Sheikh Mohamed Ibrahim Bilaal, a senior al Shabaab official, told Reuters. "Sheikh Fuad suffered wounds on the hands. The rescue workers are still taking people to hospitals."

It was not clear who was behind the mosque blasts, although residents suspected they could be the result of infighting between the armed groups, who are both trying to topple the Western-backed government.

It was not clear who was behind the latest blasts. Residents suspected they could be the result of infighting between the armed groups, which are both trying to topple the Western-backed government.

The mosque is often used by al Shabaab officials to deliver speeches.

Information Minister Dahir Mohamud Gelle told Reuters the government would not attack the rebels where many other people were gathered.

According to the U.N. Security Council, Khalaf, who also has Swedish nationality, has raised funds for al Shabaab and was involved in two car bomb attacks in the capital in April 2008.

Reuters

Last Mod: 01 Mayıs 2010, 17:40
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