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Africa

Bombers target Western-style Mogadishu restaurant

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2012-11-03

Two suicide bombers trying to storm a popular Western-style restaurant in the Somali capital on Saturday detonated their explosive vests at the entrance, killing the security guard who tried to fend them off.

Two suicide bombers attacked a Western-style restaurant in Somalia's capital Mogadishu on Saturday, wounding several people and killing the security guard who barred them from entering.

"There were two suicide bombers who attacked the Village restaurant. The two of them have died and other people who stayed in the place were injured. We are still investigating the casualties," said Abdi Adan, a Somali police officer.

A witness to the attack, Idle Husien, said there had been a, "heavy exchange of gunfire before the heavy explosions".

"I'm not far away from the place and I can see people injured and the severed dead bodies of the suicide bombers," Husien said.

Targeting new ventures

The Village is owned by Ahmed Jama, a Somali restaurateur who relocated to Mogadishu from London four years ago

Another of his restaurants, also named the Village and located in Mogadishu, was hit by a suicide attack in September that killed 18 people, including three journalists.

In May, he told AP that he returned to his country “with hope of bringing a new concept,” after decades of war and insecurity. “I trained many people with cooking skills and they are working in the country now,” he said. “I am so happy.”

After the September attack on his second Mogadishu establishment, Jama, who also owns a restaurant in London, vowed to continue his work in an interview with the BBC. "I am a business guy with restaurants and I'm going to continue with that," he said, adding that he had already signalled security concerns to the local authorities.

Jama’s two new restaurants and hotels had been touted as part of a new, Western-friendly face of Mogadishu which has developed over the past year. It was only last August that African Union troops kicked al-Shabaab militants out of the city.

But the recent rise in attacks by Islamist militants underlines the serious security challenges the Horn of Africa nation still faces.

(FRANCE 24 with wires)

Date created : 2012-11-03

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