Al-Qaeda-linked group targets cafe frequented by soldiers
A suicide bombing attack by the Al-Shabaab jihadist group on a crowded tea shop in Somalia’s capital Mogadishu killed 10 people and injured dozens, the government said on Saturday.
The death toll from the attack, which targeted a tea shop near heavily guarded government institutions on Friday evening, was significantly higher than the four previously reported.
“On the evening of July 2, a suicide bomber wearing a vest detonated the device near the Juba Hotel, killing at least 10 people with dozens injured,” the Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism said in a statement.
“The attack occurred during a busy hour where the victims were enjoying a local tea shop,” it added, saying the “malicious” attack was by Al-Shabaab.
The al-Qaeda-linked group swiftly claimed responsibility for the attack in a statement saying “15 elements from the governmental intelligence, police, and militia were killed and 22 others were wounded.”
Sources told AFP that the attack took place just a few hundreds metres from the headquarters of the Somali Intelligence Agency at around 5:30 pm on Friday. “The cafe was crowded when the blast occurred,” said witness Abdikarim Ali.
The cafe is often frequented by members of the Somali security forces, sources said. Al-Shabaab, which is fighting to overthrow the internationally-backed government in Mogadishu, regularly attacks government and civilian targets in Mogadishu.
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