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Sunday 20 October 2019

Multiple deaths in vehicle bomb attack on Somalia restaurant

At least 16 people lost their lives in the country’s capital, Mogadishu, a frequent target for the al Shabab group.

Police and civilians walk past a destroyed vehicle after the attack (Farah Abdi Warmaseh/AP)
Police and civilians walk past a destroyed vehicle after the attack (Farah Abdi Warmaseh/AP)

By Abdi Guled, Associated Press

An explosives-laden vehicle detonated outside a busy restaurant in Somalia’s capital, killing at least 16 people, police have said.

Captain Mohamed Hussein said the blast occurred as the restaurant in Mogadishu’s Waberi district was crowded with diners.

At least 17 wounded people were taken to hospitals, the Aamin ambulance service said.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack.

The al Qaida-linked al Shabab extremist group often targets high-profile areas in Mogadishu with suicide bombings.

Somalis walk near wreckage at the scene (Farah Abdi Warmaseh/AP)

Those often include security checkpoints, hotels and government offices.

The extremist group was chased out of the capital several years ago but continues to hold large parts of rural southern and central Somalia, taxing local people and travellers to fund its deadly quest to establish an Islamic state.

It has thousands of fighters.

The United States military has dramatically increased the number of deadly airstrikes against al Shabab since President Donald Trump took office.

The US is one of a number of actors fighting al Shabab, including a multi-national African Union force, Somali forces and Kenyan troops.

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