Mogadishu blasts kill 34, injure almost 70: medics

13:22, May 02, 2010      

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Causality figures in the Mogadishu mosque explosions on Saturday include 34 dead and almost 70 wounded, hospital sources said.

Local hospitals and emgercy services say that the death toll now stands at 34 while almost 70 others have been admitted to the Daynile Hospital on the outskirts of the capital Mogadishu.

Witnesses at the scene of the blast speak of carnage and confusion, with dozens of dead and wounded people lying on the floor of the mosque following the twin explosions in the packed mosque in the main Bakara market in Mogadishu

An Islamist official of the Al Shabaab Islamist groups was among the injured in the attack on a mosque frequented by supporters of Islamist Al Shabaab movement.

The group's senior leader Fuad Mohamed Khalaf, who was at the mosque at the time and "slightly" injured in the arms, was the target of the attack, according to Al Shabaab spokesman Ali Mohamoud Rageh.

Rageh accused foreign security firms operating inside Mogadishu of being behind the attack.

The Al Shabaab spokesman vowed to tighten security and be more alert to any future attacks from what he called the foreign security firms' "local collaborators."

Al Shabaab is linked to al Qaeda and Khalaf is one of the officials under UN sanctions. He has recently been added to Islamist Somali leaders under U. S. sanctions.

No one has claimed responsibility for the bombing, the first of its kind in a place of worship in Somalia.

The group is waging a deadly insurgency attack on the Somali government and African Union peacekeepers backing the Somali government forces.

The moderate Islamist militias, the Ahlu Sunnah Wal Jamaca, recently struck a power-sharing deal with the government. This week it vowed to start fighting Al Shabaab inside their strongholds in Mogadishu.

Ahlu Sunnah has been fighting al Shabaab group in the central Somali regions where they control several important districts.

Al Shabaab, seen as a terrorist group, controls much of the southern and central parts of Somalia. It has been fighting to topple the internationally recognized Somali government and establish an Islamic state in the war-torn east African country.

Somalia has been without a central government for the past two decades.

Source: Xinhua

(Editor:黄硕)

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