Double suicide bombing at Mogadishu restaurant kills 14

Mahmoud Mohamed in Mogadishu contributed to this report

September 21, 2012

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Two suicide bombings killed at least 14 people, including three journalists, and injured 20 others in a restaurant in Mogadishu on Thursday (September 20th).

Supporters of al-Shabaab killed 14 people and wounded 20 more in a double suicide attack in the capital Mogadishu on September 20th. [AFP] Play Video
  • Somalis carry the body of Somali journalist Abdisatar Dahir Sabriye who was killed in a double suicide attack in the centre of Somalia's capital Mogadishu on September 20th. [Mohamed Abdiwahab/AFP]

    Somalis carry the body of Somali journalist Abdisatar Dahir Sabriye who was killed in a double suicide attack in the centre of Somalia's capital Mogadishu on September 20th. [Mohamed Abdiwahab/AFP]

"Several of my journalist colleagues and I were sitting at the restaurant and suddenly an enormous explosion occurred, followed by another only minutes later," journalist Mohamed Hassan told Sabahi.

"I saw severed heads and pools of blood on the ground," Hassan said. "I also saw six bodies lying in front of me; two were my journalist colleagues who had been sitting next to me."

Attackers targeted the Village Restaurant, close to the Mothers' House and the National Theatre. Journalists, politicians, government employees and returned Somali expatriates were known to frequent the restaurant.

Hassan said the first explosion took place as one of the suicide bombers detonated his suicide vest inside the restaurant only to be followed by a second explosion that happened at the entrance of the restaurant where shocked people gathered.

Among those killed by the suicide attack were three journalists: Liban Ali Nur, head of the news department at Somali National Television, Abdisatar Dahir Sabriye, Somali National Television's head of programming, and Abdirahman Yasin, director of independent radio station Voice of Democracy.

A fourth journalist, Hassan Yusuf Absuge of independent Radio Maanta, was later killed after working on a report about the suicide attack. "He was shot dead after he left the radio station," Abidaziz Hussein, the radio's news editor told AFP.

"The attackers escaped before police reached the area," said Mohamed Hassan, a relative.

Press rights watchdog Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has called 2012 the "deadliest year" on record for Somali journalists, surpassing 2009 when nine died.

"This is a disaster, another journalist shot dead while we were burying three of our colleagues killed in the suicide attack yesterday," Hanad Ali, a local journalist, told AFP. "It is a campaign to cleanse the free press."

The Somali government issued a statement saying that such terrorist attacks will not dampen the government's determination to continue efforts to build a secure and prosperous future for Somalia.

"We strongly condemn the attack that targeted innocent civilians who were [sitting] in peace at the restaurant," said the statement released by the Ministry of Information, Posts and Telecommunications. "The goal of the terrorists is to shake the Somali people's confidence in the new government and to kill their hope for security improvements in the country."

Al-Shabaab spokesman Ali Mohamud Rage told AFP the bombing was carried out by the group's supporters.

"Action has been taken by sympathisers of al-Shabaab who were angry with the situation in Somalia, especially the intervention by foreign troops," he told AFP.

"We did not directly order the attacks, but there are lots of angry people in Somalia who support our fight and want to change the situation."

The attack comes only a week after the new Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud survived an assassination attempt at hotel he was staying in Mogadishu.

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Reader's Comments

  • [email protected]
    September 25, 2012 @ 02:08:23PM

    Killing civilians has become a normal thing for Al Shabab movement. Al Shabab has even been acting like vampires that can't live without drinking blood. Therefore, Somalis must side with international and regional stakeholders' efforts in order to uproot Al Shabab from Somalia. Al Shabab does not understand anything other than force, and they should therefore be dealt with using the language they understand.

  • mtiga
    September 23, 2012 @ 09:57:52AM

    Only Islam is the solution for achieving peace all over the world. Whoever doesn't accept that should only refuse for argument.

  • samiira
    September 23, 2012 @ 01:23:19AM

    We belong to God The Almighty and to Him we shall return. O God! have mercy upon them.

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