Sat. May 21st, 2022

Mogadishu – A suicide bomber killed himself and seven others when he blew up a popular restaurant near the presidential palace in Mogadishu, police said Wednesday.

Among the dead were a police officer and six civilians, while scores of other guests were injured, police officer Ali Hassan told dpa.

The suicide bomber, wearing a vest packed with explosives, entered the Blue Sky restaurant at about 5:30 pm [1430 GMT]. The restaurant is located some 600 metres from the presidential palace in the Somali capital’s Hamarweyne neighbourhood and regularly frequented by government officials, said Hassan.

Police expected the death toll to rise, since many of the wounded sustained serious injuries, according to the officer.

A witness, resident Hassan Adde, told dpa he saw the body of a young boy among the corpses.

No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, but police suspect Islamist terrorist group al-Shabaab to be behind the bombing.

Al-Shabaab, which has ties to al-Qaeda, regularly launches attacks on government officials, journalists, prominent businesspeople as well as civilians in the volatile nation in the Horn of Africa.

By Rasaas