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Shabaab restaurant assault leaves 18 dead in Mogadishu

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Shabaab restaurant assault leaves 18 dead in Mogadishu

A suicide car bombing and armed assault by six Shabaab militants on two neighbouring restaurants in Somalia’s capital Mogadishu ended Thursday morning with at least 18 dead, the government said.

“The operation is over now and the gunmen were killed by the security forces,” said Mohamed Ahmed Arab, spokesman for Somalia’s security ministry.

He said the six attackers — one suicide bomber and five gunmen — “attacked business places and killed innocent civilians: 18 civilians were killed, including a Syrian national, and more than 10 others were wounded.”

The attack began at around 8pm (1700GMT) on Wednesday evening with a suicide car bombing at the Posh Treats restaurant and club, after which gunmen stormed inside the nearby Pizza House restaurant. The Syrian national is believed to have been a chef at Pizza House.

Both venues are popular with affluent, young and diaspora Somalis and were busy as customers broke the Ramadan fast.

Islamist attacks often increase in tempo during the holy month but Wednesday’s was the first major assault by the Shabaab this Ramadan.

COURTESY OF CAPITAL NEWS

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