At least 10 people were killed and 15 others injured in a suicide bombing in the Somalian town of Beledweyne, the police said.
The police said a suicide bomber wearing explosive vests wrapped around his waist blew himself up at Hassan Dhiif Restaurant on Saturday, reports Xinhua news agency.
“The town is preparing to hold parliamentary elections Sunday and many people were believed to have been inside the restaurant which is located close to the district headquarters in Beledweyne,” it said.
Witnesses said the election of about 25 lawmakers was due to take place in Beledweyne on Sunday and many delegates were assembling in the town.
The latest incident happened a few hours after security forces loyal to National Security Advisor Fahad Yasin arrived in the town from Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia, ahead of Sunday’s poll which Yasin is contesting.
According to state-owned Radio Mogadishu, Abdirahman Keynan, the deputy district commissioner for social affairs is among the people who were killed in the latest suicide attack.
“Most of the victims were civilians who had crowded the tea shop. The wounded have been rushed to the hospitals for treatment. The scene has been sealed off by the security forces,” a witness said.
A journalist who was trapped inside the scene said he saw several bodies lying on the ground amid the heavy presence of the police.
“I am trapped inside the building where the terrorist bombing happened. I saw dead bodies and injured people lying on the ground, there is a heavy presence of police forces here now,” a radio journalist told Xinhua.
The attack comes weeks after the Somali government deployed several security forces in the town.
No group has claimed responsibility for the latest attack but the al-Shabab terror group often carries out such attacks in Mogadishu and elsewhere across Somalia.