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Confusion as Al-Shabaab attack restaurant(s) in Mogadishu

Hiiraan Online
Wednesday June 14, 2017

Security forces rescuing civilians from the two restaurants - CREDIT:  @imukhtaar via twitter

Mogadishu (HOL) - As residents of Mogadishu lined up for evening prayers, a suspected car bomb was detonated outside of two popular Mogadishu eateries - Posh Treats and Pizza House - this much is for certain.

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Nearly 2 hours after the after the initial explosion, there is still confusion as to which establishment is under attack.

Initial reports from local media and journalists suggested that Posh Treats, a restaurant that moonlights as a shisha (hookah) cafe in the evenings was the target.

However, security officers told HOL that they were responding to an active hostage situation at Pizza House, a separate restaurant that directly across from Posh.

A photograph taken by a CGTN correspondent, Abdiasis Billow Ali, was among the first pictures of the attack to be uploaded on twitter. His picture shows what appears to be pizza house engulfed in flames, directly across the distinct bright red lights of Posh Treats are still on.

A fire breaks out at Pizza House restaurant after gunmen detonated a car bomb and stormed the restuarant. Credit: @AbdulBillowAli via Twitter

In a Facebook post, Manar Moalin, one of the proprietors of Posh Treats said that Pizza House was under attack and that the bomb caused serious damages to Posh.

Reuters news agency published a story placing Posh Hotel (known more as a restaurant but they do operate a guest house) as the site of the attack.

A report by Radio Andalus- a pro Al-Shabaab media outlet claiming responsibility for the attack said that the militants attacked Posh because it is a nightclub that attracts sex workers from Ethiopia and Kenya.

As Mogadishu residents took to twitter to share and find information relevant to the attack, they were met with multiple accounts of what happened that inevitably fuelled the confusion.

Senior government officials have not yet publicly commented on the event as of yet.

At the time of writing (11:30 PM LT), local media are still publishing conflicting reports that gunmen are holed up in both Pizza House and Posh Treats.

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