Friday, January 22, 2016

Gunmen Kill 17 in Somalia
JANUARY 22, 2016 5:31PM
The Australian

At least three people have died during a terror attack on a restaurant in the Somali capital.
At least 17 people have been killed in an attack by Islamist gunmen at a popular beachside restaurant in the Somali capital of Mogadishu.

Al-Shabaab, a militant group aligned with al-Qaeda, said on Friday its members had set off two car bombs at the Beach View Cafe on Lido beach, engaging in a gun battle for hours with government troops trying to flush them out.

"The operation ended at 3am last night and at least 17 civilians were killed," police officer Osman Nur told Reuters news agency on Friday.

Police said al-Shabaab fighters set off the first car bomb at dusk.

A huge second blast, which witnesses said echoed around the city centre, struck about an hour later as government soldiers laid siege to the restaurant.

Witnesses said gunmen shouted "Allahu akbar," the Arabic phrase for "God is great", and entered the restaurant from the direction of the beach.

"They randomly fired at the people sitting near the beach before entering the restaurant," said witness Ahmed Nur, who was strolling along on the shoreline when the attack happened.

Al-Shabab attacked Kenyan peacekeepers in southwestern Somalia last week.

The group claimed it had killed about 100 Kenyans and seized armaments and military vehicles.

The Kenyan government has given no death toll, saying broadly that there were some fatalities.

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