Al-Jazeera has reported that Al-Shabab fighters have attacked a beach restaurant in the capital Mogadishu with a car bomb before entering into a gunfight with security forces, according to police and the group.
“A car bomb exploded at Banadir beach restaurant at Lido beach and there is exchange of gunfire. We have no other details so far,” Major Ahmed Ibrahim, a police officer, told Reuters news agency on Thursday.
Al-Shabab were quick to claim responsibility for the attack.
“We attacked the Banadir beach restaurant and now our fighters are fighting inside it,” Abdiasis Abu Musab, the al-Qaeda linked military operation spokesman for the group told Reuters.
It has been reported that the explosion occurred near the new Turkish embassy.
Witnesses told Reuters that they saw atleast two bodies lying on the ground and the site of the restaurant had been sealed off by security officers.
It has been reported that the terrorists had thrown grenades at responding officers.
Internal Security Minister Abdirizak Omar Mohamed said on his Twitter account: “Warning: People near the blast scene should stay in the hotels and in their houses in which they are inside. Cars should not enter Lido beach area.”
Preliminary reports have said up to nine people have died and one terrorist captured.