Al-Shabaab bombers kill 15 in Mogadishu diner


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The Independent Online

The Islamist militant group al-Shabaab detonated two bombs at a packed restaurant in Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia, yesterday, killing at least 15 people and wounding 23 more.

It was the second attack in a year on the restaurant, which is owned by Somali businessman Ahmed Jama, who returned to his home country from London to set up a business, against the advice of friends.

"First a car bomb exploded at the entrance and when people converged inside, a suicide bomber blew himself up," said Mohamed Yusuf, a spokesman for the Mogadishu authorities.

A spokesman for al-Shabaab later said that the group was responsible: "We are behind today's blasts. Government officials, military forces, workers and their security always meet here. We had targeted it even before today and we shall continue targeting it."

A witness described seeing mangled tables, chairs, blood and pieces of human flesh. Security forces cordoned off the area and told people to stay away in case there were further blasts.

Although al-Shabaab was driven out of Mogadishu in 2011, suicide attacks have raised concerns that it remains a potent force. President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud recently escaped unharmed from an ambush on his motorcade.