13 killed in Somalia blast

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At least 13 people were killed in the central Somali town of Beledweyne on Saturday, state television said. A suicide bomber blew himself up in a restaurant that witnesses said was packed with local officials and politicians.

The Al-Shabab militant group claimed responsibility for the attack, according to a report by SITE intelligence, which monitors militants groups online. The hard-line group, which frequently attacks government targets and civilians, has unleashed two attacks in the past two weeks.

A further 18 people were injured in the Beledweyne attack, the Somali National Television said on Twitter. One witness in Beledweyne said he helped to evacuate the injured after the mid-morning attack.

“I counted seven dead, including soldiers and civilians, and over ten injured,” Aden Farah, a local elder, told Reuters. Police and government officials confirmed the restaurant attack was the result of a suicide bomb but did not give the number of casualties. One of those killed in the attack in Beledweyne was a candidate in an ongoing parliamentary election, residents said.

 

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