NNA – Three people were killed and six wounded in a car bomb blast outside a popular restaurant in the center of the Somali capital Mogadishu on Tuesday, police said.
The attack is the latest in a string of bombings in the war-torn Horn of Africa nation, where Al-Qaida-affiliated Shebab Islamists are fighting to topple the government.
“There are at least three dead, and six others have been injured,” police officer Ahmed Warhere told AFP.
“A vehicle loaded with explosives was parked outside the restaurant.”
No one immediately claimed responsibility for the bombing, but the restaurant is located in the center of Mogadishu, where the Shebab Islamists have carried out repeated attacks.
U.N. envoy to Somalia Nick Kay, who was visiting colleagues in the northeastern town of Garowe a day after the Shebab killed six people in an attack on a U.N. bus there, condemned “another atrocity”.
He said the “killing needs to stop”.
Four staff from the U.N. children’s agency UNICEF were killed in the bus attack, including two Kenyans, an Afghan and a Ugandan. Two Somali security guards were also killed in that attack.
The Shebab, meaning “youth”, emerged out of a bitter insurgency against Ethiopia, whose troops entered Somalia in a 2006 U.S.-backed invasion to topple the Islamic Courts Union that was then controlling the capital Mogadishu.
Shebab rebels continue to stage frequent attacks in their fight to overthrow Somalia’s internationally-backed government, as well as to counter claims that they are close to defeat due to the loss of territory, regular U.S. drone strikes against their leaders and defections.
In other recent attacks Shebab gunmen shot dead a Puntland lawmaker, Adan Haji Hussein, on Saturday and on Sunday killed three African Union troops in an ambush in the south of the war-ravaged country. —AFP