Mogadishu. Ten people were killed Friday night when a rickshaw loaded with explosives was detonated by Al-Shabaab Islamists at a popular restaurant in Mogadishu, according to police.
The three-wheeler rickshaw, fitted to carry a load on the back, had been packed with explosives when it hit the restaurant near the capital's port, Somalia's police spokesman Sadik Dudishe told journalists.
"The terrorists carried out a cruel attack targeting a restaurant frequented by civilians. Ten people died and 30 others were wounded in the blast."
A security official and medical source indicated the toll could be higher.
"The blast was very heavy and caused massive destruction and civilian casualties, the operation is still going on to establish the exact number of casualties but initial information security officials obtained indicates more than 10 people died", said security officer Mohamed Osman.The medical official said 20 people were confirmed dead and 30 others wounded.
"Our teams on the ground confirmed the death of 20 people and 30 others were wounded", said the director of Mogadishu's Aamin ambulance service, Abdikadir Abdirahman.
The attack was claimed by the Al-Qaeda-linked Al-Shabaab group.
Mogadishu is regularly targeted with attacks by Al-Shabaab who have been waging a long and violent insurgency seeking to unseat the internationally backed government in Mogadishu.
They were driven out of Mogadishu in 2011, but still control swathes of territory from where they plan and launch frequent, deadly strikes against government and civilian targets.