15 Killed in Somalia Attack

VOA News – A suicide bomber in central Somalia has detonated explosives in a crowded restaurant, killing at least 15 people.

Militant group al-Shabab claimed responsibility for the attack in the town of Beledweyne Saturday that left dozens wounded.

In a statement, the group said the main target for the bombing was troops from Ethiopia and Djibouti. The small restaurant is popular with foreign troops who are in Somalia to fight al-Shabab.

Al-Shabab said the blast killed more than 20 people, including 13 Ethopian troops.

The al-Qaida-linked militant group has launched a series of attacks that it says are retaliation for the presence of foreign troops in Somalia. The group claimed responsibility for a September siege at a mall in Kenya that killed at least 67 people.

The African-Union-led peacekeeping force AMISOM has pushed al-Shabab out of Somalia’s major cities, although the group still controls parts of the countryside.

In an interview with VOA’s Somali Service, Beledweyne deputy chairman Bashir Hussein Dhoor said Somali troops and at least seven civilians were among those killed in Saturday’s attack.

A VOA reporter in the city said at least seven of the wounded were in serious condition.

Somalia’s Prime Minister Abdi Farah Shirdon Saacid condemned the attack. He said the goal was to “scare Somali people” who were ready to decide their future. He said Somali’s would “not go back.”

Categories: Africa, News

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