Somalia: car bomb, beach attack near Turkish Embassy claimed by Al-Shabab

Somalia: car bomb, beach attack near Turkish Embassy claimed by Al-Shabab

Al-Shabab militants attacked a beach restaurant in the Somali capital Mogadishu and set off a car bomb near the newly opened Turkish Embassy, the group said.

Police fired shots at the vehicle leading to its premature explosion after the driver refused orders to stop at a checkpoint. The vehicle exploded not too far from the beach restaurant where rapid fires from automatic rifles could be heard.

The police have not reported any casualties.

The Banadir Beach Restaurant near Lido beach is a popular eatery frequented by young people and Somali officials.

Eyewitnesses said the militants threw several hand grenades at the security forces that seemed to be target of the attack.

20 people had escaped from the restaurant and authorities presented a wounded man at a local hospital with bandages on his head as the suicide attacker in the vehicle.

Al-Shabab is seeking to oust the internationally backed government of Somalia to establish an Islamic caliphate. It was forced out of the capital by African Union troops. The extremist group has laid siege on neighboring countries like Kenya, killing hundreds of people for their participation in the AU mission.

Somalia is heading to polls in September and October to restore a functioning government.

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