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At least 25 people killed in twin blasts in central Somalia

WT24 Desk

MOGADISHU– At least 25 people were killed and several others injured early Monday after suspected al-Shabab militants detonated a car bomb and later stormed the residence of a cleric in Galkayo in central Somalia, police and local residents said, BSS reports.

Police officer Mohamed Abdi in Galkayo told Xinhua that the car bomb rammed into the gate of the center and then gunmen stormed in.

“After the car exploded in front of the gate, gunmen gained entry into the center killing the cleric and his followers, we have information that over 25 people died in the attack,” Abdi said

The cleric which was identified as Sheikh Abdiweli Ali Elmi sparked controversy recently after al-Shabab accused him of insulting Prophet Mohammad.

Residents said that they heard huge blasts from the religious center. “We heard blasts and gunfire, many people were killed in the place,” Amina Ahmed, a resident, told Xinhua.

Security forces from the state of Galmudug ended siege at the cleric’s camp. Al-Shabab claimed responsibility for the attack, saying that they targeted the camp of cleric Elmi in Galkayo town.

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