20 killed as Al-Shabaab gunmen storm beachfront restaurant in Somalia

This is the heartbreaking moment a man was overcome with emotion as he put his hand on his slain sister's corpse following a restaurant attack in Somalia.

Twenty people were killed when a suicide car bomber rammed the gates of a seaside restaurant in Somalia's capital Mogadishu last night and Islamists fought their way inside firing at diners.

Al-Qaeda-linked Al-Shabaab claimed responsibility
for the attack and the deadly siege inside the the Liido Seafood restaurant, which is popular with Mogadishu's elite and government officials, police official Capt. Mohamed Hussein said.

The security forces took control of the restaurant just before dawn, ending the siege Hussein stated. It's unclear whether the assailants are included in the more than 20 that were killed. 

Today grieving relatives came to terms with the attack as they searched for loved ones on the beach

Blasts and bursts of gunfire could be heard as Somali special forces went from room to room pursuing the al-Shabab gunmen who were holed up inside the restaurant

Hussein said the security forces rescued many people who had been trapped inside the restaurant's hall, where a party was taking place when the attack started on Thursday.

Witnesses said the gunmen shouted 'Allahu akbar', Arabic for 'God is great', and fired indiscriminately at people sitting near the beach.

'They randomly fired at the people sitting near the beach before entering the restaurant,' said witness Ahmed Nur, who was strolling along on the shoreline when the attack happened. 

'The place was packed when the [gunmen] came, so the number of casualties will probably rise,' Hussein said.

Conflicting reports claim two car bombs were set off during the siege.

Somalia Prime Minister Omar Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke wrote on Twitter: 'I unreservedly condemn the barbaric attack @ Liido. My thoughts and prayers are with the victims #Somalia.'

Islamic extremist group Al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for Thursday's attack, in a broadcast on its online radio.

The terror group, which is fighting to overthrow the internationally backed government in Mogadishu, carry out regular attacks in the capital.

The Islamists are on a mission to disprove claims they are close to defeat since being routed from Mogadishu in mid-2011 and losing several alleged commanders in US drone strikes.

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