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Islamist Gunmen Slaughter 20 at Somali Beach Restaurant


Twenty people were killed when a suicide car bomber rammed the gates of a seaside restaurant in Somalia's capital Mogadishu last night and Islamists fought their way inside firing at diners.


Al-Qaeda-linked Al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for the attack and the deadly siege inside the the Liido Seafood restaurant, which is popular with Mogadishu's elite and government officials, police official Capt. Mohamed Hussein said.


The security forces took control of the restaurant just before dawn, ending the siege Hussein stated. It's unclear whether the assailants are included in the more than 20 that were killed.
 

Today grieving relatives came to terms with the attack as they searched for loved ones on the beach. 
Terror: Relatives carry away a dead body from the beach following an overnight attack on a beachfront restaurant in Mogadishu 

Blasts and bursts of gunfire could be heard as Somali special forces went from room to room pursuing the al-Shabab gunmen who were holed up inside the restaurant

Hussein said the security forces rescued many people who had been trapped inside the restaurant's hall, where a party was taking place when the attack started on Thursday.

Witnesses said the gunmen shouted 'Allahu akbar', Arabic for 'God is great', and fired indiscriminately at people sitting near the beach.

'They randomly fired at the people sitting near the beach before entering the restaurant,' said witness Ahmed Nur, who was strolling along on the shoreline when the attack happened.

'The place was packed when the [gunmen] came, so the number of casualties will probably rise,' Hussein said.

Conflicting reports claim two car bombs were set off during the siege.
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