Al-Jazeerah: Cross-Cultural Understanding
News, September 2013
18 Somalis Killed in Twin Attack Blasts on Mogadishu Restaurant
September 7, 2013
Death toll rises to 18 in twin blasts in Somali capital
MOGADISHU, Sept. 7, 2013 (Xinhua) --
The death toll from the twin explosions against a popular restaurant in Somalia's capital Mogadishu has risen to 18, police said Saturday.
"So far the death toll from the explosion has reached 18 and many more were injured in the explosions that were perpetuated by anti-peace elements. Police are working to arrest those behind this," Mohamed Daahir, local district police commander told reporters.
Witnesses said a car laden with explosives was parked outside the Village Restaurant in Mogadishu, and minutes after it exploded, a suicide bomber detonated himself inside the eatery, which was popular with city residents.
Dozens of cars parked outside the restaurant were also destroyed in the explosions. Witnesses said dead bodies and charred wreckage of cars burnt in the explosion were all around the area.
"The site turned like a war zone. Dead bodies lay all around the area. Cars burning and the outside walls of the restaurant destroyed," eyewitness Mohamed Yusuf told Xinhua.
It was the second time that the restaurant in Mogadishu's Hamarweyne business district had been targeted by deadly explosions claimed by militant group Al-Shabaab.
The restaurant is one of the top eateries opened in the capital after security improved following the ouster of the (group) from Mogadishu.
No group has so far claimed responsibility for the attack but the Al-Shabaab rebels had said they would target government workers and the African Union peacekeeping mission in Somalia (AMISOM).
Mogadishu has seen an increase in explosions for the past months targeting government installations, AMISOM forces as well as restaurants and hotels.
Somali security forces have tightened security in the capital since the upsurge of attacks blamed on the fighters of Al-Shabaab.
Al Shabaab controls few areas in the south and center of Somalia, but has managed to launch deadly attacks in the capital and some other areas.
Bombers strike restaurant in Somali capital, at least 15 killed
By Abdirahman Hussein and Abdi Sheikh
Sat Sep 7, 2013 6:36am EDT
MOGADISHU (Reuters) -
A car bomb and suspected suicide bomber struck a restaurant in the Somali capital Mogadishu on Saturday, killing at least 15 people, police said.
It was not immediately clear who carried out the attack on the popular Village Restaurant, owned by Somali businessman Ahmed Jama, who had returned to his home country from London to set up business against the advice of friends.
But suspicion will likely fall on the militant group al Shabaab, which has carried out a campaign of suicide bombings despite withdrawing from the city in 2011 under military pressure.
Ahmed Nur, a senior police officer at the scene, told Reuters that at least 15 people had been killed.
Mohamed Yusuf, spokesman for the Mogadishu authorities, said that after the car bomb went off, a suicide bomber immediately blew himself up in the restaurant.
"First a car bomb exploded at the entrance of the restaurant, and when people converged inside a suicide bomber blew up himself," he said.
A Reuters witness at the scene described a tangle of mangled tables, chairs, blood and pieces of human flesh. Security forces cordoned off the area and told people to stay away for fear of more blasts.
Two suicide bombers hit the same restaurant in September last year.
In the biggest attack so far this year, al Shabaab in June assaulted the main U.N. compound in the Somali capital, killing at least 22 people.
Somalia has a new elected government that has been in charge for about a year and is striving to rebuild itself after two decades of civil war and lawlessness triggered by the overthrow of President Siad Barre in 1991.
(Writing by George Obulutsa; Editing by Angus MacSwan)
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