34 Killed In Two Explosions In Somali Mosque

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An African Union (AU) spokesman says two powerful explosions in the Somalian capital of Mogadishu killed more than 34 persons and injured over 70 others, including a senior leader of an Al-Qaida-linked Islamist insurgent group.

The two bombs ripped through the Abdala Shideye Mosque in the main Bakara market area of the city, as the faithful gathered for their noon prayers Saturday.

It was the second attack in a week on a mosque in Bakara Market, an area of Mogadishu controlled by members of the country's two main rebel groups, Al-Shabaab and Hizbul Islam.

Fuad Mohamed Qalaf, alias Fuad Shongole, a senior leader of the Islamist Al Shabaab movement and reportedly the target of the blast, was injured.

An Al Shabaab spokesman blamed some unnamed foreign security firms for the attack. The Islamist insurgent group is engaged in a deadly fight with the government and the African Union peace-keeping forces in the country.

Ahlu Sunnah Wal Jamaca, a moderate Islamist militia group, recently struck a power-sharing deal with the government, and vowed its support in the fight against Al Shabaab.

Islamist insurgents control much of Mogadishu and have been trying to topple the fragile ministry for three years. Somalia has not had an effective government for nearly 20 years.

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