Mogadishu – The death toll has risen to 20 after twin suicide bombings in the Somali town of Baidabo, police and health officials said on Saturday. They added that up to 40 people had been injured.
A suicide bomber blew himself up at a packed cafeteria in Baidabo – also known as Baidoa – 220km south-west of Mogadishu on Friday afternoon.
A car driven by another suicide bomber then exploded nearby, leaving the area strewn with bodies. The fatalities included two local journalists.
Some of the injured victims were in critical condition and would be flown to Mogadishu for treatment, health officials told dpa.
The radical Islamist group al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for the attack on pro-insurgent radio Andalus, saying the cafeteria had been targeted because it was frequented by many government supporters.
President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud condemned the “cruel, barbaric and evil actions from al-Shabaab against innocent people”.
Somalia’s decade-long conflict with al-Shabaab has claimed thousands of lives.
Government and African Union troops have gradually cornered the group, which has lost control of practically all important towns.