At least seven people are dead after a car bomb exploded outside a coffee shop in the Somali capital of Mogadishu Wednesday.
Witnesses and officials said a car packed with explosives was deliberately parked outside the newly opened shop, located near offices that house the ministries of internal security and youth and sports.
Abdifatah Omar Halane, spokesman for the Mogadishu administration, confirmed the casualties.
“Seven are dead, the wounded have been evacuated, the victims are young men and elderly who were having drinks. We are very sorry for the loss of life among the civilians,” he said, adding that the government is investigating the incident.
Witnesses said the explosion shook buildings in the area.
“We were inside when we heard the explosion, we came out and saw a vehicle burning,” said Ahmed Yanyo, one of the workers at the coffee shop.
Yanyo said he personally saw the bodies of five dead people laying at the scene.
Officials said the suspect who parked the car drove away in another vehicle moments before the explosion.
There has been no claim of responsibility for the attack, but the al-Qaida linked extremist group al-Shabab has carried out similar attacks in the past. Observers say there has been an uptick in explosions and assassinations in the capital over the last two months.
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