20 May 2009

Somalia: Al Shabaab Leader 'Wounded in Blast' - Sources

The leader of Somalia's Al Shabaab guerrilla group was wounded during a recent accidental explosion, inside sources tell Garowe Online.

Sheikh Muktar Abdirahman "Godane," one of the founders of Al Shabaab and the group's current leader, was wounded when an explosive device "went off accidentally," the sources said.

"The explosive device was being used for training [purpose] but it went off accidentally," said a source close the secretive guerrilla group, adding that Godane was being treated at a private hospital in the northern outskirts of the capital Mogadishu.

On Sunday, an accidental explosion at a house where Al Shabaab fighters were lacing vehicles with explosives killed 17 people. READ: Mysterious explosion kills 17, including 'foreign fighters'

Godane recently issued an audio tape where he spoke about the anti-government insurgency being spearheaded by Al Shabaab fighters in Mogadishu and other parts of south-central Somalia.

Al Shabaab, which is considered at a terrorist organization by the U.S. government, has been attempting to overthrow the Somali interim government led by President Sheikh Sharif Ahmed, former leader of the country's Islamist movement.

President Sheikh Sharif's interim government is the 15th attempt by the international community to restore national order in Somalia.

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