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News

Several killed in Somalia mosque collapse

Police say as many as 15 people have been killed and 40 wounded after a mosque that was undergoing renovation collapsed. Scores of people were inside when the building caved in.

Residents said more than 100 people were helping to pour a concrete foundation around the mosque, located in the capital, Mogadishu, after Friday prayers when the structure suddenly collapsed.

Rescuers searched the rubble for survivors in the city's Hodan district throughout the night, police spokesman Mohamed Dahir told the German news agency DPA.

"There was a major rescue search... where at least 15 bodies were recovered from under rubble," he said.

A witness, Ali Muhidin, told Agence France-Presse: "Some of them (the dead) have suffocated to death, others were hit by the falling concrete walls."

Another resident, Mohamed Yahye, said, "I saw several dead bodies that were discovered under the debris; they were had been working on its construction."

Local government official Ahmed Nur Abdi agreed that the cave-in may have been caused by the ongoing repair work inside the building.

Another police officer, who asked to remain anonymous, told DPA that an engineer in charge of the renovation work had been taken in for questioning.

mm/tj (AFP, dpa)