Death toll rises to 21 in latest al-Shabaab attack in Somalia

At least 21 people are dead after an attack Sunday by the al-Shabaab terrorist group in the southern Somali city of Baidoa, police said.

The death toll was rising after the attacks, which saw one person blow himself up at the popular restaurant Beder, while a second person detonated a car bomb remotely in front of another restaurant, named Reedo, police said.

Al-Shabaab claimed responsibility shortly after the attack in Baidoa, which lies about 220 kilometres west of the capital Mogadishu.

Local journalist Mohamed Husni told dpa that he counted 13 dead from both attacks in a hospital. The dead included politicians, soldiers and other government officials.

Police said at least 40 were injured in the attack.

The attack comes two days after al-Shabaab attacked a luxury hotel and parking garage in Mogadishu, killing 22 and injuring 40.

The Sunni fundamentalists have been fighting for years to create a religious state within Somalia.

Somalia's government on Sunday, reacting to the Friday attacks, said it would tighten security measures across the country, with closer cooperation between national security forces and regional forces.

The head of the nation's intelligence service promised to take the fight to al-Shabaab "at the front."

Security Minister Abdirisak Omar Mohamed also called upon parliament to pass a new counterterrorism law to help beef up security forces.

Last update: Sun, 28/02/2016 - 23:07
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