Somali general among 6 killed in Mogadishu car bombing

At least six people, including a senior Somali military general, died in a car bombing Monday outside a Mogadishu restaurant.

A destroyed vehicle is seen at the scene of a car bomb explosion Monday in Mogadishu. The bomb exploded near a coffee shop, killing six people. Photo by Said Yusuf Warsame/EPA
A destroyed vehicle is seen at the scene of a car bomb explosion Monday in Mogadishu. The bomb exploded near a coffee shop, killing six people. Photo by Said Yusuf Warsame/EPA

Gen. Abdi Bashir Aden and security officials were traveling on a military vehicle in the capital when the explosion occurred at 6 p.m. local time, officials said. Twenty others were injured when the bomb went off next to a popular eatery and coffee shop known as the Italian Cafe, police said.

The Italian Cafe is across the street from the headquarters of Somalia’s immigration directorate and is adjacent to the Sunrise Hotel.
Abdikadir Abdirahman, the director of AMIN ambulances, said his organization removed eight bodies from the scene.

Militant group al-Shabab claimed responsibility for the attack. In the past, the group has targeted military, intelligence, police and immigration personnel.

On April 9, Somalia’s new military leader, Ahmed Mohamed Irfid, survived an assassination attempt that killed at least 15 people. Al-Shabab claimed responsibility for the car bombing.

On Feb. 19, a car bomb exploded at a market in Mogadishu, killing at least 30 people and injuring more than 50 Sunday. At the time, no one claimed responsibility for the blast.

National and African Union multinational forces have driven Al-Shabab out of the capital and other major urban areas.

Also Monday, four government soldiers were killed in a roadside explosion in Kabtanlas village near the town of Qoryoley, in the Lower Shabelle region.

By Allen Cone