At least 10 people including a cleric were killed when al-Shabab fighters attacked a religious centre in the central Somali town of Galkayo.
A suicide car bomb went off at the main entrance of the centre before gunmen stormed in.Those killed included some of the cleric’s students and guards.
Al-Shabab said they carried out the attack to target a religious leader who they accused of referring himself as a prophet.
“The mujahideen carried out an operation this morning on the residence of the man who claimed to be a prophet. The operation began with a suicide blast and the fighters stormed the centre,” an al-Shabab spokesman said as quoted by Somali Memo, a news site run by the group.
The group is fighting Sufism, targeting those who celebrate the birth of the Prophet Muhammed by singing and dancing, saying the practice is against the teaching of Islam.
Al-Shabab is fighting the Somali government and wants to establish an Islamic state based on its own interpretation of the Islamic sharia.