The death toll from an attack late on Thursday by Islamic militants on a seaside restaurant in the Somali capital Mogadishu has risen to 10, police said.
The attackers set off a car bomb at the Banadir restaurant at the city’s Lido beach before engaging security forces in a fight for several hours.
The casualties comprised six civilians, two members of the security forces and two of the attackers, Ali Abdullahi, a police officer, said on Friday.
Al Qaeda-linked al Shabaab claimed the attack, which ended at around 3:00am local time, police said.
It said the restaurant was targeted because it was frequented by “apostates” indulging in “obscenity and vice”.
The group has carried out a series of deadly attacks in Somalia to try to topple the Western-backed government.
In a separate incident in southern Somalia, a roadside bomb planted by al Shabaab militants injured 10 people, police said on Friday, raising the number of wounded from three initially.
One of those wounded in the explosion in Baardhere town in Gedo region was the local district commissioner, police said.
Threat to elections
It is the second time this year the group has attacked the Lido beach area and its many eateries, including upmarket establishments popular with business people and diaspora Somalis who have returned home to the city.
In late January, Shabaab gunmen detonated a bomb before bursting into the Lido Sea Food Restaurant and spraying gunfire at terrified customers, killing 20 people.
The group is expected to try to violently disrupt elections due to be held in September and October.
Despite abandoning the capital five years ago, Shabaab still launches regular attacks against government, military, civilian and foreign targets.
The jihadists have also staged repeated attacks in neighbouring Kenya and a recent security analysis warned that the group was expanding its horizons with cells active in Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda as well as Somalia