17 February 2013

Somalia: Car Bomb Kills One At Mogadishu Beachside Restaurant

Photo: Stuart Price/UN Multimedia
A scene from Lido Beach in Mogadishu (file photo).

A car bomb killed at least one person outside a popular restaurant at Mogadishu's Liido beach on Saturday. It injured three others.

The explosives-packed car was parked in a restaurant car park near the beach and exploded, destroying the perimeter walls.

Al-Shebab - who are they?

The beachfront restaurant was well frequented by members of parliament and government officials. The area is also a tourist attraction.

According to witnesses, there was a huge explosion and heavy smoke that could be seen from afar.

Mohamed Hassan, who survived from the explosion, was having his lunch when he heard the deafening sound of the blast.

"I was in the restaurant at the time of the explosion, although I escaped unharmed yet I lost my consciousness for a while," he says. "The whole area covered dust, I thought that my days were numbered but luckily I survived"

Although the attack has not been claimed by any organisation, the owners of the restaurant and the government officials blamed rebels of Al Shebab for the attack.

Since Al-Shebab fighters made a tactical retreat from Mogadishu and parts of south and central Somalia in 2011, Mogadishu has experienced a string of attacks including explosions, suicide bombers and targeted assassinations.

Security analysts believe that Al Shebab planted sleeper cells across Mogadishu's districts before its leaders and infantry left the war-torn capital.

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