Suicide bombers strike at Somali beachfront

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Suicide bombers killed a civilian at a beachfront restaurant in the Somali capital yesterday, officials said, underscoring how fragile security remains 18 months after African troops drove Islamist militants out of the city.

Ali Abdi, a waiter at Mogadishu’s Indian Ocean restaurant, said one bomber walked inside and blew himself up moments before a car bomb exploded a few metres away.

“I see blood all over the walls and floor. Chairs and tables litter the area,” he said.

The Friday crowds at the Lido beach, where a row of blown-out colonial villas are a stark reminder of two decades of civil strife, have come to symbolise Mogadishu’s rebound following the expulsion of the al-Qaeda linked militants.

But the city remains plagued by bomb attacks and assassinations and the government depends heavily on an 17,600-strong African Union peacekeeping force for survival.