Thirteen people were killed on Saturday in the town of Beledweyne in central Somalia, after a suicide bomber detonated explosives in a restaurant packed with local officials and politicians, the country’s media reports.
National Police spokesman, Dini Roble Ahmed, who also confirmed the incident, said the dead were mostly civilians, while 20 other people were wounded in the blast he described as causing “huge damage.”
Eyewitnesses said a large explosion tore through an open area of the Hassan Dhiif restaurant where people gathered under trees to eat lunch.
“I saw dead bodies of several people and I could not count how many wounded that were rushed to hospital.
“Some of these people were waiting for their ordered meals to come while enjoying the fresh weather when the blast occurred. This was the deadliest attack I can recall in this town,” a resident, Mahad Osman, told reporters after the blast.
One of those killed in the attack was a candidate in an ongoing parliamentary election in the district, as well as two deputy district commissioners.
The attack took place despite security being tightened in Beledweyne on the eve of a first round of voting for parliamentary seats in the constituency, 340km (210 miles) north of the capital Mogadishu.
Islamic terrorist group, Al-Shabab has saying it would continue to carry out such attacks in the country as well as its allies like Kenya.
The Al-Qaeda-linked al-Shabab which frequently attacks government targets and civilians, has unleashed two attacks in the past two weeks, and says it will not stop until it toppled the central government.
Join the conversation
Support Ripples Nigeria, hold up solutions journalism
Balanced, fearless journalism driven by data comes at huge financial costs.
As a media platform, we hold leadership accountable and will not trade the right to press freedom and free speech for a piece of cake.
If you like what we do, and are ready to uphold solutions journalism, kindly donate to the Ripples Nigeria cause.
Your support would help to ensure that citizens and institutions continue to have free access to credible and reliable information for societal development.
INVESTIGATION: Students sit on floors, under leaking roofs as multi-million naira project is nowhere to be found in Zamfara
Suleman Tukur, 15, an SS 2 student of Government Day Secondary School (GDSS) Bakura in Bakura local government area of...
INVESTIGATION: UBEC mum as N80m Kebbi secondary school lab equipment still undelivered since 2020
“Our laboratories are not conducive for learning; the termites have destroyed most of these laboratories, and there is not enough...
In Niger, communities suffer as multi-billion naira Auna Dam project remains uncompleted despite 38 years of investments
In Niger State, the over 20 communities around Auna River have had their hopes for fresh water, electricity supply and...
INVESTIGATION: Years after, 15km Eleme-Onne end of East-West Road remains death-trap despite billions released
In this report, ARINZE CHIJIOKE chronicles the sufferings of road users on the 15km Eleme-Onne end of the East-West Road...
Gaza attacks intensify as 12 Thais, 10 Nepalese killed in Israel
The current violence in Israel has claimed the lives of at least 12 Thai people and 10 Nepalese individuals. Eight...