Guests Trapped Inside Attacked Mogadishu Restaurant

Explosions and gunfire at a popular restaurant near the beach in Somalia’s capital have killed at least two people and injured four others, according to witnesses.

The incident at the Lido Seafood restaurant erupted Thursday evening.  

A journalist inside the attacked restaurant told VOA’s Somali Service that he and more than 20 other people are stranded inside, and that gunfire and hand grenade explosions were continuing.

“I can see two dead bodies and four injured people lying on the floor of the restaurant,” said the journalist, speaking on condition of anonymity.  “The injured are seriously wounded and in a pool of blood.  The main explosion occurred at the front door.  I cannot tell the casualty outside.”

Mohamud Hared, the owner of the nearby Indian Ocean Restaurant, told VOA’s Somali Service that he heard gunfire and then two separate explosions followed.

“We heard a heavy gunfire and then explosion followed, gunfire ensued again for 15 minutes and then explosions,” Hare said.  “We do not know exactly what has happened as we are ducking inside our restaurant.” he said

A reporter for VOA in Mogadishu says government security forces have sealed off roads to and from the restaurant.  He says ambulances carrying injured people could be seen coming out of the area.

Government officials could not immediately be reached for comment.

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