Cyprus Mail

Suicide bomber kills 7 in Somali tea shop, police say al Shabaab responsible

file photo: somali security forces in mogadishu
FILE PHOTO: A Somali policeman holds his position near the mayor's office following a blast in Mogadishu, Somalia January 22, 2023. REUTERS/Feisal Omar/File Photo

A suicide bomber set off an explosion at a shop selling tea in Somalia’s capital on Friday, killing at least seven people, a witness and medical personnel and police said.

The Friday afternoon blast occurred at a checkpoint on a road leading to the parliament and the president’s office and the shop is frequented by soldiers, the witness said.

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.

Al Shabaab spokespeople were not immediately reachable for comment.

In the past, al Shabaab 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.

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