Islamist group bombs Somali restaurant, at least three dead

October 1, 2016 7:30 AM EDT

Somali government soldiers secure the scene of an attack on a restaurant by the Somali Islamist group al Shabaab in the capital Mogadishu, Somalia, October 1, 2016. REUTERS/Feisal Omar

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MOGADISHU (Reuters) - Somali Islamist group al Shabaab bombed a restaurant frequented by members of the security forces in Mogadishu on Saturday, killing at least three people, officials and the group said.

Police said a suicide car bomb rammed the Blue Sky restaurant in the capital, which is located near a detention center, known as Jilaow, where militants are often held in underground cells.

Al Shabaab frequently launches attacks in Mogadishu in its bid to topple the Western-backed government.

Abdifatah Omar, a spokesman for Mogadishu's local government, said at the scene that three people had been confirmed dead so far and four others were injured.

"We targeted the security forces and officers of the underground Jilaow cell who were there," Sheikh Abdiasis Abu Musab, al Shabaab’s military operations spokesman, told Reuters, adding that at least 10 people were killed.

He did not say whether a suicide car bomb was used in the attack, although the group often uses such tactics.

Casualty figures given by al Shabaab and officials often differ.

(Reporting by Abdi Sheikh, Abdirahman Hussein and Feisal Omar; Writing by Edmund Blair; Editing by Robin Pomeroy and Alexander Smith)

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