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Death toll in bombing in Somalia's capital rises to 20

An ambulance carrying wounded from a blast at a popular restaurant arrives a hospital in the capital Mogadishu, Somalia, on March 5, 2021. (AP Photo/Farah Abdi Warsameh)

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) -- The death toll has risen to at least 20 after a vehicle packed with explosives rammed into a popular restaurant in Somalia's capital on Friday night, with 30 wounded, the government news agency reported Saturday.

    The Somali National News Agency cited the Aamin ambulance service for the death toll.

    Police spokesman Sadiq Ali Adan blamed the attack on the local al-Shabab extremist group, which is linked to al-Qaida and often targets Mogadishu with bombings. The Luul Yamani restaurant also was attacked last year.

    Some houses near the restaurant collapsed after the dinnertime blast, and police said that caused a number of deaths.

    Security in Mogadishu had been especially heavy, with thousands of government forces deployed in anticipation of a planned demonstration on Saturday by an alliance of opposition leaders over the country's delayed national election. The demonstration was later postponed.

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