Suicide bomber blows himself up in a restaurant near a police academy in the capital Mogadishu, killing at least five people and wounding 10 others, police say.

A Somali woman reacts near the scene of a suicide explosion at a restaurant near a police academy, in Mogadishu, Somalia, on November 17, 2020.
A Somali woman reacts near the scene of a suicide explosion at a restaurant near a police academy, in Mogadishu, Somalia, on November 17, 2020. (Reuters)

At least six people have been killed and 10 others wounded in Somalia's capital Mogadishu after a suicide bomber blew himself up in a restaurant near a police academy, a police spokesperson and a witness said.

"A blast occurred at a restaurant near School Policio (police academy)," police spokesperson Sadik Ali told reporters in a WhatsApp message group shortly after the blast went off.

Later he told Reuters news agency that six people, including the perpetrator, had died in the bombing.

"The death of five people, two of them members of the police, were confirmed, and more than 10 others were wounded," Mohamed Abdirahman, a police officer at the scene, told AFP news agency.  

"The wounded people were rushed to the hospital, some of them with serious injuries."

'Blast destroyed everything'

A witness, shopkeeper Mohamed Ali, told Reuters 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, told Reuters that heavy rain had sent a lot of people into the restaurant to seek shelter.

"As I was sipping tea and looking down, (a) blast occurred. From there I don't know what happened," he said. 

His legs, hands, and head had been hit by shrapnel from the explosion, which he said had also given him a concussion.

"Many of the people inside were wounded and I personally saw the ... dead bodies of two people, the whole area was in a mess as the blast destroyed everything," witness Abdulkadir Hussein said.

Al Shabab group 

It was unclear who was behind the attack.

Militant group Al Shabab frequently carries out bombings in Mogadishu and elsewhere in Somalia as part of its campaign to topple the central government.

The group wants to establish its own rule in the Horn of African country.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies