9 killed as Al-Qaeda-linked militants attack restaurant, beach in Somali capital

Militants from Al-Shabaab, an Al-Qaeda affiliate on Thursday attacked a restaurant in the Somali capital, Mogadishu. A car bomb went off near the establishment before a gunfight broke out, according to police.

At least nine people have been confirmed dead, including five civilians, two security forces officers and two attackers, while another two people were said to be injured, according to local media.

Witnesses said that the noise of gunshots and explosions have died down at the Banadir Beach Club.

"A car bomb exploded at Banadir beach restaurant at Lido beach and there is an exchange of gunfire. We have no other details so far," Major Ahmed Ibrahim, a police officer, told Reuters.

The attackers reportedly made their way inside the establishment, where gunfire continued, local journalist Ahmed Abdihadi reported.

According to reports on Twitter, the attack was taking place meters from the Turkish embassy.

One of the attackers was captured alive, local media reported quoting Somali security forces.

Militant group Al-Shabaab has claimed responsibility for the attack.

It was not immediately clear if anyone has been killed or injured, but witnesses told Reuters that they saw at least two bodies lying on the ground outside the restaurant. 

Restaurants often visited by security officials and foreigners have become frequent Al-Shabaab targets.

In a separate incident, a roadside bomb was detonated in southern Somalian town of Baardheere. It is believed to have been planted by al-Shabab militants. Local media said that it injured ten people, including Baardheere district commissioner.

In January, 20 people were killed when militants attacked the Beach View Café in the capital, using the same tactics of a car bomb followed by a shootout.

There are reports of another Al-Shabaab attack in the town of Bardhere, in the south of the country.

At least 12 people, including security officials, were injured when an explosive device was detonated in a crowded area, local journalist Harun Maruf tweeted.