Tags: AF | Somalia | Restaurant Blast

Suicide Car Bomber Detonates outside Somalia Restaurant

Wednesday, 14 June 2017 02:37 PM

MOGADISHU, Somalia (AP) — A suicide bomber detonated an explosives-laden vehicle at the gate of a popular restaurant in Somalia's capital, police said Wednesday night. There was no immediate word on any casualties.

Capt. Mohamed Hussein said there was confusion over whether gunmen had fought their way inside after the blast and whether a hostage situation was underway at the Pizza House restaurant.

The Somalia-based extremist group al-Shabab often targets high-profile areas of Mogadishu, including hotels, military checkpoints and areas near the presidential palace. It has vowed to step up attacks after the recently elected government launched a new military offensive against it.

Al-Shabab last year became the deadliest Islamic extremist group in Africa, with more than 4,200 people killed in 2016, according to the Washington-based Africa Center for Strategic Studies.

The extremist group also faces a new military push from the United States after President Donald Trump approved expanded operations, including airstrikes, against al-Shabab. On Sunday, the U.S. military in Africa said it carried out an airstrike in southern Somalia that killed eight Islamic extremists at a rebel command and logistics camp.

Somalia President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed confirmed that airstrike and said such attacks would disrupt the group's ability to conduct new attacks.

With a new federal government established, pressure is growing on Somalia's military to assume full responsibility for the country's security. The 22,000-strong African Union multinational force, AMISOM, which has been supporting the fragile central government, plans to start withdrawing in 2018 and leave by the end of 2020.

Also Wednesday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution extending the U.N. political mission in the Horn of Africa nation, which is trying to rebuild after more than two decades as a failed state, until March 31, 2018. The resolution recognized that "this is a critical moment for Somalia."

Associated Press writer Edith M. Lederer at the United Nations contributed.

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A suicide bomber detonated an explosives-laden vehicle at the gate of a popular restaurant in Somalia's capital, police said Wednesday night. There was no immediate word on any casualties.Capt. Mohamed Hussein said there was confusion over whether gunmen had fought their...
AF,Somalia,Restaurant Blast
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2017-37-14
Wednesday, 14 June 2017 02:37 PM
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