Islamist gunmen kill 17 in Somali restaurant

Lido beach following an attack at Beach View Cafe, in Somalia's capital, Mogadishu, on Friday

At least 17 people were killed when Islamist gunmen struck a popular beachside restaurant in the Somali capital of Mogadishu on Thursday night, Somali police said.

Al Shabaab, a militant group aligned with al Qaeda, said its members set off two car bombs at the Beach View Cafe on Mogadishu’s popular Lido beach, engaging in a gun battle for hours with government troops trying to flush them out.

“The operation ended at 3 a.m. last night and at least 17 civilians were killed,” police officer Osman Nur told Reuters on Friday.

Police said al Shabaab fighters set off the first car bomb at dusk. A huge second blast, which witnesses said echoed around the city centre, struck about an hour later as government soldiers laid siege to the restaurant.
Reuters/UO