Somalia: Suicide car bomber targets Mogadishu restaurant

Security forces and an ambulance at the scene of the attack in Mogadishu. Photo: 14 June 2017Image copyright

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Somalia’s security forces and police have sealed off the area

A suicide car bomber has attacked a restaurant in Somalia’s capital Mogadishu, killing at least 11 people, officials and witnesses say.

Gunfire was heard as security forces and police responded to the attack on the Pizza House restaurant popular with young and diaspora Somalis.

The attackers are holding a number of hostages in the building.

Militant Islamists from the al-Shabab group have claimed responsibility for the assault.

  • Who are al-Shabab?

Witnesses say the whole district is currently sealed off by the security forces and police.

Security official Abukar Mohamed was quoted as saying by the AFP news agency that the operation to clear the building was continuing late on Wednesday.

Troops from the African Union forced al-Shabab out of Mogadishu in 2011, but much of the country is still under control of the militants.

Al-Shabab, which is affiliated to al-Qaeda, has launched a series of deadly attacks on Mogadishu and other government-held regions in recent months.

Somalia has been wracked by conflict since the long-serving ruler Mohamed Siad Barre was ousted in 1991.

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