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UN envoy strongly condemns attack on popular restaurant in Somali capital

The United Nations envoy for Somalia today strongly condemned last night's attack on a pizza restaurant and an adjacent hotel in Mogadishu that reportedly killed at least 19 people.

“Last night's attack was clearly aimed at civilians who were breaking the fast,” said the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Somalia, Michael Keating, in a statement to the press.

“There can be no justification for such acts of wanton bloodshed. The holy month of Ramadan is a time of peace and compassion; the attackers have shown cynical contempt for this, and set back the prospect for a peaceful solution to Somalia's problems,” he added.

Al-Shabaab has claimed responsibility for the attack, which was triggered by a suicide car bomber and targeted customers who frequent the Pizza House restaurant and adjacent Posh Hotel. Five militants who seized control of the restaurant were subsequently killed by Somali security forces.

On behalf of the United Nations and the broader international community, he extended heartfelt condolences to the families and victims of the deceased and wished a full and speedy recovery to those who sustained injuries.