Relatives of Minnesotans killed, injured in Kenyan mall attack

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As details continue to emerge, a deadly terrorist attack at a Kenyan mall over the weekend continues to draw ties to Minnesota.

WCCO reports St. John's Prep School in Collegeville, Minn. held a prayer service Monday morning after the high school learned that three people killed in the siege were relatives of two students.

Jill Pauly, the school's director of communications, told WCCO that a quarter of the school's population is international students from 18 different countries.

Hodan Hassan of Minnetonka told the Associated Press that her nieces, 17-year-old Fardosa Abdi and 16-year-old Dheman Abdi, were shopping at the mall when it came under attack Sunday afternoon. Fardosa suffered severe leg injuries and Dheman took a bullet to the leg and an explosion injured her arm.

The teens are Canadian citizens who moved to Nairobi three years ago, the Associated Press said.

The raid has claimed the lives of more than 60 people. Al Qaeda-linked terrorist group al-Shabab is taking credit for the attack and reportedly identified nine men involved on their Twitter page, which was subsequently shut down.

Two of the names included 22-year-old Ahmed Mohamed Isse of St. Paul and 24-year-old Abdifatah Osman Keenadiid of Minneapolis.

However, U.S. officials have not confirmed the claims. CNN reports intelligence analysts are poring over electronic intercepts in an effort to verify American involvement.

The Minneapolis-St. Paul area, where as many as 90,000 Somalis live, has been fertile recruiting ground for al-Shabab. As many as 20 Somali-American men between the ages of 17 and 27 left their Minneapolis homes in 2007 and 2008 to join extremists in Somalia.

Last month, the terrorist group released a video featuring three Minnesotans encouraging young men to join the group. By the time the video was released, all three fighters had been killed.

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