Somalia: At least 7 dead in an attack on a restaurant in the capital

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At least seven people have been killed and at least 10 others injured in an attack by jihadists on a seaside restaurant in the Somali capital, Mogadishu, on Friday.

According to the police, the attack committed bomber-kamikazi and is believed that the target was the Chief of Police, General Ampy Mohammed Hijar, and newly elected Members of Parliament, who led to the Pescatore Restaurant, which offers especially seafood, Lido Beach. The police chief and the parliamentarians are safe, according to the same source. However, the explosion caused a fire inside the store and panicked customers.

The blast was followed by sporadic fires for some time, according to customers at other nearby restaurants. Many ambulances rushed to the scene.

The Shebab jihadist group claimed responsibility for the attack later yesterday.

The action came days after a mortar attack on the Somali parliament, for which Shebab also claimed responsibility. The parliament was targeted while its members met as part of the process that is expected to lead to the election of a president. Among the many injured, however, there were no elected officials.

Shebab, which swears allegiance to al-Qaeda, has been waging a guerrilla war against the Somali state for more than a decade. The jihadists, who have been driven out of several urban centers, including the capital since 2011, continue to be present in vast rural areas and have escalated their activities recently.

On March 24, an attack on Mogadishu airport, the country’s most heavily guarded facility, killed three people. Another – double – attack, in the central part of the country, resulted in the death of 48 people.

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