MOGADISHU (Reuters) – A suicide bomber killed at least 16 people on Saturday in an attack on a cafe in a Somali town close to the Ethiopian border frequented by local and foreign soldiers fighting al Qaeda-linked rebels.
Al Shabaab said it had carried out the bombing, in the town of Baladweyne, targeting troops participating in an African Union peacekeeping force fighting the Somali Islamist group.
“A man with an explosives jacket entered unexpectedly in the tea shop where soldiers and civilians sat … and blew himself up,” said local elder Ahmed Nur, speaking from the scene of the blast.
At least 16 people were killed and 33 wounded, local politician Dahir Amin Jesow told Reuters by telephone from Baladweyne. “The death toll may rise.”
Somali and African forces pushed Al Shabaab out of Baladweyne, about 210 miles north of Mogadishu, more than a year ago.