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5th Twin Cities Somali man killed in his homeland

Minneapolis -- A fifth Somali man from Minne-apolis apparently has been killed in his war-ravaged homeland, a relative said Friday. Mohamoud Hassan, a 23-year-old former engineering student at the Univer-sity of Minnesota, reportedly died in the ...

Minneapolis -- A fifth Somali man from Minne-apolis apparently has been killed in his war-ravaged homeland, a relative said Friday.

Mohamoud Hassan, a 23-year-old former engineering student at the Univer-sity of Minnesota, reportedly died in the past day or two.

"It's real bad news," Hassan's uncle said Friday night. "But that is what happened."

Abdirizak Bihi, a community activist who visited with Hassan's grandmother on Friday, said she learned of her grandson's fate after receiving a phone call from a relative of another young Somali-American who left his home in the Twin Cities last summer to return to Somalia to fight.

That man had told his relatives in a phone conversation shortly after noon Friday that he was standing in a cemetery in Mogadishu and had buried Hassan.

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Hassan is believed to be one of as many as 20 young men from the Twin Cities who over the past 2½ years returned to their native country to train with and fight for al-Shabaab, a group designated by the U.S. government as a terrorist organization linked to al-Qaeda.

Who recruited the men and who financed their travel has been at the heart of a far-reaching federal investigation that became public last November after Shirwa Ahmed, 26, a former college student from Minneapolis, blew himself up in Somalia in a coordinated attack that killed up to 30 people.

Under federal law, it is illegal for a U.S. citizen to go to another country and fight in a conflict, or support

terrorists.

Since Ahmed's death, Hassan and three other Somali men from Minneapolis who were friends or knew each other from a local mosque -- Burhan Hassan, 18; Jamal Bana, 20, and Zakaria Maruf, 30 -- have been killed in Somalia.

At the same time, three other Somali-American men have pleaded guilty to terror-related charges and await sentencing in U.S. District Court in Minneapolis for their role in returning to their homeland to train or fight.

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