Restaurant hit by deadly suicide attack in Somali capital

A restaurant in Somali capital, Mogadishu has been hit by a powerful suicide bomb explosion carried out by the Al Qaeda-affiliated, Al Shabaab, on Thursday afternoon killing at least two people and injuring 8 others.

Amongst the dead is the bomber himself and a civilian in the restaurant said Capt. Hassan Wali, a senior Somali police officer who was at the scene.

Fahmo Hassan, a witness confirmed that a bomber drove an explosives-laden rickshaw into the busy restaurant near to the Ali Kamin junction, close to Somalia’s heavily fortified presidential palace in war-torn Mogadishu.

Ambulances could be seen rushing from the scene taking the wounded to a nearby hospital for medical treatment. Somali Security forces cordoned off the area and conducted an investigation into the bomb attack at the restaurant.

Al Shabaab operations’ spokesman, Sheikh Abdulaziz Abu Musab, said the militant group was behind the bombing and that they had targeted senior security force members in the attack.

Mogadishu Mayor, Yusuf Hussein Jimale, has strongly condemned the suicide attack at the restaurant, terming it as “barbaric” and “an affront to humanity”.

“We are condemning this brutal attack on civilians in the restaurant. We grieve with those who have lost their loved ones. We pray for the families affected,” Mr. Jimale said in a statement.

Among the five wounded were two women said to have sustained heavy injuries and are now undergoing treatment at a local medical centre.

Despite Al Shabaab being driven out of Mogadishu in 2011, suicide attacks and drive-by-shooting are still prevalent, targeting Somalia’s federal government installations, lawmakers and African Union peacekeeping troops’ bases.

Omar Nor

A senior reporter in-the-field covering the vast East Africa region, focusing on  political issues including scenarios of conflict. Follow Omar on Twitter at @Omaar_nor