Members of the al-Shabab Islamic extremist group made another attack on unsuspecting civilians last night in the Somalian city of Mogadishu.
About 20 were left dead after the al-Shabab descended onto the Liido Seafood restaurant last night Thursday and shot diners at random. Survivors say that the extremists shot at people on the adjacent beach as well before entering the restaurant screaming “Allahu akbar” or “God is great” and ordering diners to lie on the floor as they faced their imminent death. A party was being hosted at the time of the massacre.
Mogadishu is Somalia’s capital. The city represents Somalia’s recent success in getting locals to use the beach area for recreational activities like swimming, surfing and walking along the beach. Fishing boats generally cross the waters to transport picnickers across the shore. However, today they’ve been anchored in the water while armed guards patrol the beach and distraught relatives pick up the dead from the bloodied restaurant.
Liido is now left with overturned, soiled chairs and tables, scattered shoes and walls marred by bullets. The casualties were laid out in the sand and covered in tablecloths as they waited to be identified. Within minutes, the yellow fabrics had been dyed to burgundy-red.
“It’s a sad day, whenever a hope comes up it gets dashed by such attacks,” said Mumina Ahmed. Ahmed is Somalian woman who lives in Virginia. She had returned to Mogadishu to visit the country after 14 years of living abroad. “The city’s future is precarious.”
Abdiqani Guled described being one of the lucky few who were able to hide from the extremists until safely being escorted out of the restaurant the next morning by security forces. “I hid myself downstairs in the bathroom until troops came to my rescue.”
The suspected leader of the attack has been captured, according to Security Minister Abdirizak Omar Mohamed. Just a week ago, the al-Shabab took over a Kenyan army base in Somalia to demonstrate its strong, united front in the face of US-backed operations that have been targeting the group.
[SOURCE: Associated Press]