| 17 April 2024, Wednesday |

Nine killed in restaurant attack in Somali capital

Nine people were killed in an attack on a posh restaurant on Friday night in the Somali city of Mogadishu, which was carried out by al Shabaab Islamist terrorists, according to authorities.

Six civilians and three military were among those slain at the well-known Pearl restaurant, according to a statement from the police. Aamin ambulance service director Abdikadir Abdirahman added that his crew had transported 20 injured people away from the location.

Security forces rescued 84 civilians while the fate of the attackers was unclear, the police statement said.

The Somali National News Agency said on Twitter that “security forces have successfully neutralised the al Shabaab militants responsible for the terrorist attack on the Pearl Beach Hotel in Lido Beach, Mogadishu”.

On Saturday, debris from the restaurant was strewn around the blood-stained street. Window panes were shattered.

Hussein Mohamed, a waiter at another restaurant nearby, said he heard a blast followed by gunfire when the attack started.

“The whole area is cordoned off by security forces,” he said.

Al Qaeda-linked al Shabaab said it was behind the attack.

“The Mujahideen managed to enter the Pearl beach and are still fully in control,” the group said in a statement.

In November, the group, which controls swaths of the country, attacked another hotel in Mogadishu, killing nine.

Al Shabaab controlled a vast area of Somalia before being pushed back in government counteroffensives since last year. However, the militants remain capable of launching significant attacks on government, commercial, and military targets.

In late May, its fighters attacked a base housing Ugandan peacekeepers 130 km (80 miles) southwest of Mogadishu, killing 54 soldiers.

  • Reuters