7 killed in Mo­gadishu beach res­tau­rant at­tack

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Worldwide -

MO­GADISHU — Seven peo­ple were killed in an at­tack by Shabaab ji­hadists on a beach­front res­tau­rant in the So­mali cap­i­tal Mo­gadishu, a spokesper­son for the city author­i­ties said yes­ter­day.

“Nine peo­ple in­clud­ing two Shabaab gun­men were killed in the at­tack” on Thurs­day, Mo­gadishu city spokesper­son Ab­d­i­fa­tah Halane said.

Al-Qaeda linked Shabaab ji­hadists at­tacked the Banadir Beach Res­tau­rant close to the city’s Lido Beach, set­ting off a car bomb be­fore ex­chang­ing fire with se­cu­rity forces.

The res­tau­rant is pop­u­lar with young peo­ple and gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials. Around 20 peo­ple man­aged to es­cape from the res­tau­rant dur­ing the gun­fight.

By yes­ter­day morn­ing of­fi­cials said the at­tack­ers had been killed.

All the “at­tack­ers have been gunned down and the res­tau­rant is now un­der the full com­mand of the So­mali gov­ern­ment sol­diers,” re­gional po­lice com­man­der Colonel Ab­shir Bishaar told the So­mali Na­tional News Agency.

“The ter­ror­ist at­tack killed nine per­sons, five of them were civil­ians, two se­cu­rity forces and the other two were the mil­i­tants who car­ried out the at­tack,” Bishaar said, adding that two other civil­ians were in­jured.

It is the se­cond time this year the group has at­tacked the Lido beach area and its many eater­ies, in­clud­ing up­mar­ket es­tab­lish­ments pop­u­lar with busi­ness peo­ple and di­as­pora So­ma­lis who have re­turned home to the city.

In late Jan­uary, Shabaab gun­men det­o­nated a bomb be­fore burst­ing into the Lido Sea Food Res­tau­rant and spray­ing gun­fire at ter­ri­fied cus­tomers, killing 20 peo­ple.

The group is ex­pected to try and vi­o­lently dis­rupt elec­tions due to be held in Septem­ber and Oc­to­ber.

De­spite aban­don­ing the cap­i­tal five years ago Shabaab still launches reg­u­lar at­tacks against gov­ern­ment, mil­i­tary, civil­ian and for­eign tar­gets.

The ji­hadists have also staged re­peated at­tacks in neigh­bour­ing Kenya and a re­cent se­cu­rity anal­y­sis warned the group was ex­pand­ing its hori­zons with cells ac­tive in Dji­bouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Tan­za­nia and Uganda as well as So­ma­lia. — AFP

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