Nine people were killed after Al-Shabaab fighters attacked the Banadir Beach Restaurant near Lido beach in the Somali capital Mogadishu on Thursday, police said.
Mogadishu Police commissioner, Bishar Abshir Ghedi said A car bomb was exploded outside the beachfront restaurant before gunmen stormed the building.
Sporadic shooting could be heard from inside the restaurant before Somali elite forces concluded operation overnight, according witnesses.
Ghedi said nine people were killed during the attack, including five civilians and two security personnel and two assailants.
Security forces said that they have arrested another attacker involved in the attack who was injured during the operation.
Over 20 people had been able to escape from the restaurant during the gunfight with the help of security forces, according to the police commissioner.
“The security forces have ended their operation in which they rescued over 20 of the civilians who were stranded inside the restaurant building and now we are in full control of the restaurant,” said Bishar.
Al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for the attack through their Andalus radio saying the fighters attacked a restaurant frequented by Somali government officials and foreigners.
Abdiasis Abu Musab, Al-Shabaab’s military operation spokesman, has claimed responsibility for the attack on the restaurant. “We attacked the Banadir beach restaurant and now our fighters are fighting inside it
Internal Security Minister Abdirizak Omar Mohamed said on his Twitter account: “Warning: People near the blast scene should stay in the hotels and in their houses in which they are inside. Cars should not enter Lido beach area.”
Al-Shabaab which wants to overthrow western backed Somali government has stepped up its attacks on government offices, military bases, hotels ahead of Somalia’s elections which is scheduled to take place later this year.
In less than two months the group carried out five deadly attacks in and outside Somalia’s capital city.
On Sunday, over 23 people died and more than eighty people injured after two suicide bombings hit local government offices near busy Dayaha market in Galkayo town 720KM north of Somalia’s capital city, Mogadishu.