Thursday, September 20, 2012
MOGADISHU (AFP) — A suicide bomber killed at least eight people and severely wounded several more Thursday in a restaurant in the centre of Somalia's capital Mogadishu, witnesses said.
The attack -- the latest in the war-ravaged city where Al-Qaeda linked Shebab insurgents have vowed to topple the government -- was one of the first to target several new upmarket restaurants set up by the Somali diaspora.
"I saw eight people killed in the blast, and around them there were many wounded, many of them with severe wounds," said Hassan Ibrahim Abdullahi, who was in the restaurant at the time.
Others said they feared the death toll could rise further, after the critically wounded were taken to hospital.
"There was a loud explosion, there were at least eight killed, and there were two more that were rushed to hospital who looked like they would not survive," said Ali Mohammed Yassin, another diner in the restaurant.
The bomber targeted the Village Restaurant, run by Somalis who had returned to their country from Britain, an eatery popular with other influential Somalis as well as the few foreigners living in the city.
The restaurant is opposite the National Theatre, and about a kilometre from the presidential palace.