MOGADISHU (Reuters) – Suicide bombers attacked a restaurant in the town of Baidoa northwest of the Somali capital on Friday, killing up to seven people and wounding dozens of others, a police officer and a doctor said.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility but the Islamist group al Shabaab, which wants to impose its strict interpretation of Islam on Somalia, often carries out such attacks. Friday evening is a busy time when many Somalis go out.
“First a suicide bomber blew himself up at the entrance of the restaurant and then a suicide car bomb followed when people converged to help,” Captain Nur Osman, a police officer, told Reuters by telephone. He said the death toll was at least five.
Dr Abdullahi Ali, manager at Baidoa hospital, said the hospital had received seven dead with 34 others wounded in the two blasts.
Al Shabaab rebels have been losing major Somali strongholds because of a military offensive by African Union and Somali troops this year, but have continued to stage hit-and-run bombings and shootings in Mogadishu and elsewhere in Somalia.