Somalia: Six hurt as blast hits restaurant in Qoryoley town

File photo: A Somali man drinks coffee in a market in the Somali port city of Merca (Credit: AU-UN IST / Tobin Jones)

QORYOLEY — At least six people were wounded on Friday at around noon when an explosion hit a busy restaurant in the southern Somali town of Qoryoley, police and a witness said.

Three soldiers were among the victims, as the coffee shop is popular with government soldiers, officials and ordinary people, witness Osman Mohamed Hussein told The Messenger Africa. “I was near the tea-shop when the blast happened. I believe it was an improvised explosive device that was concealed under there,” Hussein added.

Friday’s explosion was aimed at government soldiers and police officers who frequent the shop, sipping tea, according to witness Hussein.

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Police officer Nor Gelle Osman confirmed the attack saying that the blast injured six people, including three soldiers, adding that all victims had been taken to hospital.

“We arrived at the scene shortly after the blast went off. We started an investigation to hunt down the culprits, who were behind this dreadful bomb explosion,” Osman said.

He said no one was arrested over the bomb attack but a security operation was still ongoing in parts of the town. No group has so far claimed responsibility for the explosion but the armed group Al-Shabaab often carries out such attacks in towns controlled by the Somali army, which is backed by African Union (AMISOM) troops.

The AU mission later confirmed the attack saying it helped the wounded survivors. “AMISOM troops evacuated 5 civilians and a police officer injured when an IED went off in a market in Qoryooley town yesterday,” the mission wrote on the social media site Twitter.

By Abdirizak Mohamud Tuuryare