Five people, some of them police, were killed and more than 10 injured Tuesday when an Al-Shabaab suicide bomber attacked a restaurant in the Somali capital of Mogadishu, police said.
Witness Abdukadir Hussein said there had been dozens of people in the restaurant when the attack took place. “Many of the people inside were wounded and I personally saw the dead bodies of two people,” he said. “The whole area was in a mess as the blast destroyed everything.”
Another witness, shopkeeper Mohamed Ali, told police opened fire after the blast went off. He said he could see huge clouds of smoke rising above the restaurant and ambulances trying to reach the site, in the city’s Hamar Jajab district near Mogadishu port.
Another witness, Mohamud Ahmed, said heavy rain had sent a lot of people into the restaurant to seek shelter. “As I was sipping tea and looking down, blast occurred. From there I don’t know what happened,” he told. His legs, hands and head had been hit by shrapnel from the explosion, which he said had also given him concussion.
The al-Shabab armed group claimed responsibility for the attack in a statement carried by the SITE intelligence agency.