11 dead, 16 wounded in Somalia bomb blast, say medics

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At least 11 people died when a bomb exploded on a busy street and ripped into a nearby restaurant in Somalia’s capital Mogadishu on Thursday, medics said.

“The death toll we have confirmed so far is 11 people, with 16 others wounded,” said Abdulkadir Abdirahman Adan, director of the Aamin Ambulance service, adding that the toll could still rise.

He added: “There could be more losses.”

Witnesses described scenes of devastation, with several people wounded as they were eating lunch.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the bombing.

However, Mogadishu is regularly targeted by the al-Qaeda affiliated al-Shabaab insurgents, who have been fighting for over a decade to topple the government.

The attack took place on the busy Maka al-Mukarama road, once of the main highways through the seaside capital, an area busy with businesses and travelers.

Witnesses said several cars and three-wheeler motorbikes were destroyed by the force of the blast.

The bombing is the latest in a recent string of blasts in the capital, which has been hit regularly by al-Shabaab attacks.

Al-Shabaab fighters fled fixed positions they once held in Mogadishu in 2011, and have since lost many of their strongholds.

But they retain control of large rural swathes of the country, and continue to wage a guerrilla war against the authorities.

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