At least seven people have been killed and ten wounded in a car bomb attack at a restaurant near the Somali ministry of internal security in Mogadishu.
A massive car bomb blast at a restaurant in Somalia’s capital killed at least seven people, police said Wednesday, after al-Shabaab extremists vowed to destabilise the country’s new government.
“There was a huge blast at a tea-shop near the security ministry, the initial information we are getting indicates it was a car bomb explosion,” said Somali police official Mohammed Ibrahim.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the blast. However, the al-Qaeda-linked al-Shabaab often carries out such attacks.
Several others were injured in the blast near the ministries of internal security and youth and sports in Mogadishu, Col. Ahmed Hashi said.
Police Capt. Mohamed Hussein placed the blame squarely on al-Shabaab for the attack
“Those blood-suckers give no care to human lives whether they are civilians or others,” he said.
Al-Shabaab was forced out of the capital by African Union troops in 2011 but still controls parts of the countryside and carries out attacks against government, military and civilian targets seemingly at will in Mogadishu and regional towns.
A particularly deadly strike on a busy market left 39 people dead in February, while a twin car bomb attack on a popular Mogadishu hotel left 28 dead in January.
Other targets have included hotels, military checkpoints and the presidential palace.
Al-Shabaab has denounced new Somali-American President Mohammad Abdullahi Mohamed as an “apostate” and warned Somalis against supporting him.
Mohamed, who was elected in February, has vowed to make security a priority in the long-chaotic nation where the fragile central government is trying to extend its control beyond selected areas including the capital.