Advertisement

Readers like you keep news free for everyone.

More than 5,000 readers have already pitched in to keep free access to The Journal.

For the price of one cup of coffee each week you can help keep paywalls away.

Support us today
Not now
Friday 27 January 2023 Dublin: 6°C
PA Relatives carry away a dead body from the beach following an overnight attack on a beachfront restaurant in Mogadishu, Somalia.
# shebab
At least 19 dead after bomb blast in Somalian seaside resort
After a huge explosion, gunmen burst into the restaurant yesterday evening as diners were sitting down for their evening meal.

SOMALIA’S ISLAMIST SHEBAB militants killed at least 19 people when five gunmen detonated a bomb before storming a popular seaside restaurant in the capital Mogadishu, police have said.

“They killed nearly 20 people, including women and children,” Somali police officer Mohamed Abdirahman said, describing it as a “barbaric and brutal attack against innocent civilians”.

The Lido beach area in Mogadishu is busy with restaurants, including upmarket establishments popular with business people and diaspora Somalis who have returned home to the city.

After a huge explosion, gunmen burst into the restaurant yesterday evening as diners were sitting down for their evening meal, at the start of Somalia’s weekend.

“The fact that they have chosen this location during a weekend night shows how merciless the Shebab militants are,” Abdirahman added.

They wanted to kill more civilians — but the security forces rescued most of the people.

The Al-Qaeda-linked Shebab claimed responsibility for the attack, in which four of their gunmen were also killed, and one captured.

“The mujahedeen fighters targeted the Lido Beach,” the militants said on the group’s Radio Andalus, calling it a “major operation against the enemy of Allah”.

Security minister Abdirazak Omar Mohamed told reporters that four of the attackers were shot dead by the security forces.

cars PA The aftermath PA

The minister added that one gunman was captured when security forces entered the building to end the attack.

Those who survived described how the gunmen sprayed those in the restaurant with automatic weapons.

Eyewitness reports

Abdirahman Halane was close by the restaurant when the gunmen attacked, and said some of those killed were hit by an explosion as they tried to flee.

“The gunmen entered the popular Lido Sea Food Restaurant from the back door and started shooting… a few minutes later there was a heavy explosion at the front gate while people were trying to escape,” Halane said.

There was confusion, everybody started panicking, and some of them ran towards the gunmen and they were shot dead, I was lucky to escape.

Another witness described how some of those killed had died in the large blast, while others were shot dead at point blank range.

“There is a big mess here and many people died, I saw the dead bodies of 19 people who were killed during the attack,” said Hussein Ali, who saw the bodies being carried out of the damaged building. “Some of the people died in the explosion while fleeing and others were shot dead up close.”

The Shebab, who are fighting to overthrow the internationally-backed government in Mogadishu, carry out regular attacks in the capital.

© AFP 2016

Read: Millions brace themselves for worst US snow storm in decades

Read: Former US police officer gets 263-year jail sentence for raping and sexually assaulting black women

COMMENTS (17)