A suicide bomber detonated explosives at a restaurant crowded with local leaders and politicians in central Somalia on Saturday, killing at least 13 people.
In the town of Beledweyne, the fatalities are largely civilians, with another 20 individuals injured.
According to authorities, the bomb caused “significant damage” to the Hassan Dhiif restaurant. “I witnessed multiple dead bodies, and I couldn’t count how many injured people were transported to the hospital,” said witness Mahad Osman.
A massive explosion ripped across an open section of the Hassan Dhiif restaurant, witnesses claimed, where people had gathered beneath trees to have lunch.
Officials from the police and the administration acknowledged that the restaurant bombing was the result of a suicide bomber, but they did not say how many people were killed.
According to police officer Mohamud Hassan, two deputy district commissioners were among the dead. He further stated, “this was the bloodiest strike in this town that I can remember.”
The incident occurred despite increased security in Beledweyne on the day of the first round of voting for parliamentary seats in the constituency, which is located 340 kilometers (210 miles) north of Mogadishu’s city.
According to inhabitants of Beledweyne, one of those slain in the incident was a candidate in the current parliamentary election.