Somalia: At least 20 dead, dozens wounded by suicide car bomb blast

A suicide car bomb explosion outside a restaurant near the port in Somalia’s capital Mogadishu on Friday killed at least 20 people and wounded 30 others.

The blast sent plumes of smoke into the sky and triggered gunfire, state owned media reported.

“So far we have carried 20 dead people and 30 injured from the blast scene,” Dr Abdulkadir Aden, founder of AAMIN Ambulance services said, according to Reuters.

“A speeding car exploded at Luul Yemeni restaurant. I was going to the restaurant but ran back when the blast shook and covered the area with smoke,” a witness said.

At least one building near the restaurant collapsed after the blast and people were feared to be trapped in the rubble. The bombing occurred at dinner time when the restaurant was full.

Police spokesman Sadiq Ali Adan blamed the attack on the armed group al-Shabab, which is linked to al-Qaeda and often targets Mogadishu with bombings. The Luul Yemani restaurant also was attacked last year.

Al-Shabab frequently carries out such bombings in Somalia and elsewhere as part of its campaign to topple the Horn of African country’s central government and establish its own rule based on its strict interpretation of Islamic law.