Bomb explosions and gunfire: At least 2 killed in attack on Mogadishu’s popular tourist spot

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MOGADISHU, Somalia – Bomb explosions and intense gunfire that followed the blasts, have killed at least two people and injured four others at popular seaside restaurant in the Somali capital Mogadishu, according to witnesses.

“There was a car bomb explosion at a restaurant at the Lido beach. There is shooting and gunfire,” police officer Ahmed Bidan said.

The Lido beach area is busy with restaurants, including upmarket establishments popular with business people and diaspora Somalis who have returned home to Mogadishu.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, but al-Shabaab insurgents linked to al-Qaida have carried out a string of similar bombings in the past.

Al-Shabaab, which is fighting to overthrow the internationally backed government in Mogadishu, carry out regular attacks in the capital.

The Islamists have been on a mission to disprove claims they are close to defeat since being driven from Mogadishu in mid-2011 and losing several alleged commanders in US drone strikes.

Last week the group stormed a Kenyan army base in south-west Somalia, the latest case of their overrunning an African Union mission in Somalia (AMISOM) base.

Kenya has so far declined to say how many of its soldiers were killed, injured or missing, but an al-Shabaab statement put the death toll at more than 100.