Middle East

Somalia: Suicide bomber and diner killed in attack

Somali government soldiers inspect the scene of an explosion at a restaurant at the Lido beach in Somalia's capital Mogadishu March 1, 2013. REUTERS/Feisal Omar

MOGADISHU, Somalia: A suicide bomber detonated explosives inside a seaside restaurant in Somalia's capital on Friday, killing himself and one diner, a police official said.

Six others were wounded in the blast, which upended tables and destroyed one of the restaurant's walls, said Yusuf Ali, the captain of Mogadishu's police. A car bomb was also remotely detonated at the restaurant's gates, he said.

The bomber attacked a restaurant called Indian Ocean, one of Mogadishu's most expensive restaurants, where an order of lobster costs about $25. In mid-February a bomber attacked a restaurant next to Indian Ocean; only the bomber was killed.

Such attacks are typically carried out by the al-Qaida-linked militant group al-Shabab, which was forced out of Mogadishu in late 2011 but still carries out roadside bombings and suicide attacks.

The charred body of the bomber lay inside the restaurant; his head had been blown off.

Terrified customers steadily fled. One survivor called the bombing "a very terrible act."

"It means even civilians are legitimate targets," Mohamed Abdi said as he stepped out of the restaurant. "Why would someone decide to attack just a restaurant? Such attacks make me hopeless that there is any imminent peace in Mogadishu."

 

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