A suicide bomber detonated an explosive inside a tea shop in Somalia’s capital on Friday, killing at least seven people, according to witnesses and medical professionals.
According to the witness, the Friday afternoon detonation occurred near a checkpoint on a road going to the parliament and the president’s office, and the shop is frequented by military.
Sadik Ali, the police spokesperson, said the blast killed five people and wounded six others, adding the bomber was a member of al Qaeda-linked al-Shabaab.
“He killed five people … who were all drinking tea. The suicide bomber was one of the Kharijite terrorists,” Ali said in a statement, using the term the government uses to refer to al-Qaeda-linked al-Shabaab group.
Witness and medical personnel who were at the scene put the number of dead at seven and the wounded at up to eight.
“I have counted and helped transport seven dead people and six others wounded, most of them soldiers,” Ahmed Ali, a witness at the scene of the explosion, told Reuters.
Medical personnel who were at the scene and who declined to be named confirmed the number of the dead, and put the number of wounded at eight.
It was not immediately clear who was responsible for the attack. Police and government officials did not immediately respond to calls seeking comment.
In the past, al-Qaeda-linked al-Shabaab group have claimed responsibility for similar attacks in Mogadishu and other parts of Somalia.
In June, al-Shabaab, which aims to topple the central government and impose its own strict interpretation of Islamic law, killed 54 Ugandan soldiers at their base southwest of Mogadishu.