Somalia’s Islamist al-Shabaab gunmen killed at least eight people when they detonated a car bomb near a popular beach in the capital, Mogadishu, and then shot at customers at two nearby restaurants.
The gunmen attacked Banadir Beach, a restaurant popular with young people, and the neighboring Beach View Hotel that’s frequented by government officials. Mohamed Said, a police officer, said by phone that he had counted five bodies at the scene.
A similar al-Shabaab raid on Beach View and a nearby seafood restaurant in January killed at least two dozen people in a siege that lasted at least seven hours.
“The siege came to an end after eight hours,” Banadir’s proprietor, Abdirisak Mohamed Jinale, said by phone. “Eight people were killed, including three colleagues.”
The group with links to al-Qaeda claimed responsibility for the Thursday evening attack, according to Radio Andulus, a broadcaster that supports the militants. The group has waged an insurgency in the Horn of Africa nation since 2006 in a bid to impose a strict version of Islamic law.