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Al-Qaida leader's death hailed in Somalia

MOGADISHU, Somalia -- Kenyans and Somalis celebrated Sunday the death of the al-Qaida mastermind of East Africa's worst terror attack in recent history who had eluded capture for 13 years.

Somali President Sheik Sharif Sheik Ahmed showed seized documents that allegedly indicated that Fazul Abdullah Mohammed was helping al-Qaida-linked Somali militants trying to topple his fragile government. Ahmed congratulated government soldiers for killing Mohammed on Tuesday at a Mogadishu security checkpoint.

The death of Mohammed, who topped the FBI's most wanted list for planning the Aug. 7, 1998, U.S. Embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania, came on the third major strike in six weeks against the terror group that was headed by Osama bin Laden until his death last month.

Ahmed also held up a condolence letter he said Mohammed sent after bin Laden's death. He didn't say to whom it was addressed, but said Mohammed co-authored the letter with a known Islamist leader in Somalia, Sheik Hassan Dahir Aweys.

Aweys, a veteran Islamist in Somalia since the 1990s, was the leader of the Hizbul Islam militant group that merged with al-Shabab last December.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton honored the victims of the bombings during a visit to the American compound in Tanzania. She put flowers on a large rock just inside the main gate of the embassy, said a silent prayer and spoke with three Tanzanian employees who were at the embassy when it was bombed.

The attacks in Tanzania and Kenya killed 224 people. Most of the dead were Kenyans. Twelve Americans died.

One of the survivors, Douglas Sidialo, was blinded by the bombing in Kenya's capital of Nairobi.

"God the creator has delivered Fazul Abdullah Mohammed to his destiny the same way he delivered bin Laden to his destiny," Sidialo said.

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