Eight killed as militants attack Mogadishu beach restaurant

Al-Shabaab militants attacked Banadir Beach Restaurant near Lido beach, setting off a car bomb before exchanging fire with security forces.

Photo by: AFP
Photo by: AFP

The wreckage of a car bomb outside a beach restaurant after an attack by Al-Shebab in the Somali capital Mogadishu on August 25.

At least eight people were killed and several others injured in a car bomb and gun attacks on a seaside restaurant in the Somali capital Mogadishu.

"Ten people including six civilians, two members of the security forces and two Shabaab militants were killed in the attack," Mogadishu city spokesman Abdifatah Halane said. The police said they have caught one of the attackers.

The militants attacked a beachfront restaurant in the Somali capital Mogadishu on Thursday, setting off a car bomb before exchanging fire with security forces. The gun battle ended at around 3:00 am local time, police said. The Banadir Beach Restaurant near Lido beach is a popular eatery frequented by young people and Somali officials.


Somali policemen stand guard outside Daru Shifa hospital near an ambulance ferrying an Al-Shabaab fighter injured during an exchange of gunfire in Mogadishu on August 25, 2016.

The al-Qaeda-linked Shabaab group claimed responsibility for the attack through the website of their Andalus radio station.

As in other recent Shabaab attacks, the violence began with the militants setting off a nearby car bomb before storming the building and engaging in a gunfight with security forces.

From their position inside the restaurant, the attackers also lobbed several grenades at the security forces who cordoned off the area.

Somali authorities said the car bomb had failed to fully detonate and they escorted local reporters to a nearby hospital where they presented a wounded man, with his head bandaged, as the bomber.

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.


A Somali policeman attends to an Al-Shabaab fighter injured during an exchange of gunfire after a car bomb explosion in Mogadishu on August 25, 2016.

However, it was unclear how many customers and staff members remained trapped inside as the siege stretched into the night.

The Shabaab group is fighting to overthrow the government in the capital Mogadishu.

It was forced out of the capital by African Union soldiers five years ago but continues to launch regular attacks including in recent months on restaurants, hotels and military bases.


A Somali policeman looks at the wreckage of a vehicle destroyed in a car bomb explosion at the Banadir beach restaurant on August 25, 2016.

It is the second time this year the group has attacked the Lido beach area and its many eateries, including upmarket establishments popular with business people and diaspora Somalis who have returned home to the city.

In late January, Shabaab militants detonated a bomb before bursting into the Lido Sea Food Restaurant. Twenty people were killed in the attack.

A recent security analysis warned the group was expanding its horizons with cells active in Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda as well as Somalia.

Source: 
TRTWorld and agencies