Six killed in explosion at restaurant in Mogadishu

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Somalia’s police chief and lawmakers were in the restaurant at the time of the attack, but were unharmed.

Six people have been killed in an explosion at a beach restaurant in Mogadishu, where the Somali police chief and lawmakers lived at the time.

Government officials were unharmed in Friday’s explosion, which sparked a fire in the building, police said.

“Six people died and seven others were injured in the explosion,” Abdikadir Abdirahman, director of the Aamin Ambulance Service, told reporters.

The explosion was followed by sporadic gunfire, said Farah Dahir, a diner at a nearby restaurant.

“I see several ambulances rushing” [to] the scene now, but it is very difficult to know exactly what happened, the whole area is now closed by the police,” Dahir told the AFP news agency.

Recently opened in Lido Beach in southern Mogadishu, Pescatore Seafood Restaurant was known for being frequented by security and government officials.

Police officer Mohamed Ali said the exact cause of the explosion is unknown, but he believes an attacker detonated an explosive device in the restaurant.

“There was an explosion in the restaurant, believed to have been caused by a suicide bomber, but so far we don’t know for sure [about]… the cause,” he said.

“The police commissioner was in the restaurant when the blast happened, but he is safe.” [as are] several lawmakers who stayed there,” he added.

The explosion came days after a mortar attack on the Somali parliament during a meeting of newly elected MPs.

No lawmakers were injured in Monday’s attack, which was claimed by the armed group Al-Shabaab. The armed group has been waging war against the central government for more than a decade.



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