MOGADISHU – A suicide bomber detonated an explosives-laden vehicle at the gate of a popular restaurant in Somalia’s capital, and gunmen were fighting their way inside, police said Wednesday night.
A hostage situation was under way at the Pizza House restaurant, said Capt. Mohamed Hussein. Many of the restaurant’s workers are foreigners, mostly from Ethiopia.
The explosion caused a huge inferno inside the famous Pizza House Restaurant. Sporadic gunfire can still be heard #Mogadishu #Somalia. pic.twitter.com/gtilI4hQGS
— Abdulaziz Billow Ali (@AbdulBillowAli) June 14, 2017
Hussein had no immediate information about any casualties.
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.