At least 10 people were killed Friday night when a rickshaw loaded with explosives was blown up by al-Shabaab Islamists at a popular restaurant in Mogadishu, Somalia’s capital.
The three-wheeled rickshaw, equipped to carry a load on the back, had been packed with explosives when it hit the restaurant near the city’s port, Somalia’s police chief Sadik Dudishe told reporters.
“The terrorists carried out a brutal attack on a restaurant visited by civilians. Ten people died and 30 others were injured in the explosion.”
Some houses near the restaurant collapsed after the explosion, and police said it also caused some of the deaths.
However, a safety officer and a medical source stated that tolls could be higher.
“The explosion was very heavy and caused massive destruction and civilian accidents. The operation is still ongoing to determine the exact number of accidents, but initial information security authorities obtained indicate that more than 10 people died,” said security officer Mohamed Osman.
The medical official said 20 people were confirmed dead and 30 others injured.
“Our teams on the ground confirmed the deaths of 20 people and 30 others were injured,” said Abdikadir Abdirahman, director of Mogadishu’s ambulance service Aamin.
The attack was claimed by the al-Qaeda-linked al-Shabaab group.
Mogadishu is regularly targeted by al-Shabaab, which has carried out a long and violent uprising seeking to overthrow the internationally backed government in Mogadishu.
They were driven out of Mogadishu in 2011, but still control parts of the territory from which they plan and launch frequent, deadly strikes against government and civilian targets.
( Jowharwith AFP and AP)