20 dead, dozens wounded after explosion in Somali capital

At least 20 people are dead and 30 others wounded after a car bomb ripped through a popular restaurant in Somalia’s capital of Mogadishu late Friday night.

A rickshaw carrying the explosives was detonated outside the popular Luul Yemeni restaurant near the city’s port, according to Reuters, which cited an emergency services official in reporting the number of casualties.

“So far we have carried 20 dead people and 30 injured from the blast scene,” Abdulkadir Aden, founder of AAMIN Ambulance services, told the outlet.

ADVERTISEMENT

Gunfire was heard following the explosion. 

The al-Shabaab terrorist group, which controls rural areas of southern Somalia and has been known to strike the city, took responsibility for the attack, according to CNN.

The United Nations swiftly condemned the attack, which was the second to hit the restaurant since August.

“The Secretary-General strongly condemns the deadly terrorist attack that took place in Mogadishu yesterday. He extends his profound condolences to the families of the victims and wishes a swift recovery to those injured. He calls for the perpetrators of this attack to be brought to justice,” said Stephane Dujarric, spokesman UN Secretary General António Guterres.

The strike comes amid an already tense security situation in Mogadishu over political uncertainty in the capital. Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo's term expired on Feb. 8, though no elections have been held to determine his replacement. Another car bomb was also set off in February near the presidential palace.