Al Shabaab claim deadly attack on beach restaurant in Somali capital
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The death toll from an attack by Islamic militants on a seaside restaurant in the Somali capital Mogadishu late on Thursday has risen to 10, police have reported.
The casualties include six civilians, two members of the security forces and two of the attackers, Ali Abdullahi, a police officer, said on Friday.
The attackers set off a car bomb at the restaurant at the city's Lido beach before launching a raid and engaging security forces in a firefight which ended at around 3am local time.
Witnesses near the scene of the beach attack said the restaurant had been sealed off by security officers and that the attackers had lobbed grenades at the officers and fired at them.
They also said they had seen two bodies lying on the ground.
Internal Security Minister Abdirizak Omar Mohamed said on his Twitter account: “Warning: People near the blast scene should stay in the hotels and in their houses… Cars should not enter Lido beach area.”
The Somali national news agency Sonna said some 20 people had been able to escape from the restaurant during the gunfight with the help of security forces.
Al Shabaab aim to topple government
Al Shabaab was pushed out of Mogadishu by the African Union peacekeeping force AMISOM in 2011 but has remained a potent threat in Somalia, launching frequent attacks aimed at overthrowing the Western-backed government.
In January, its militants stormed another restaurant on Lido beach, killing 17 people.
On Sunday, more than 20 people were killed when its suicide bombers detonated two car bombs at a local government headquarters in Somalia’s semi-autonomous Puntland region.
In a separate incident in southern Somalia, a roadside bomb believed to have been planted by al Shabaab militants wounded at three people in Baardheere town in Gedo region, Colonel Hussein Nur, a police officer in the town, told Reuters by phone.
(FRANCE 24 with AFP, REUTERS)