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At Least 19 Killed As Islamists Attack Somali Restaurant

Police in Somalia say Islamist militants killed at least 19 people in a January 21 gun-and-bomb attack on a popular beachfront restaurant in the capital, Mogadishu.

Al-Shabaab, a militant group aligned with Al-Qaeda, claimed responsibility for the attack on the Beach View Cafe on Mogadishu's popular Lido beach.

Five gunmen stormed the restaurant after detonating two bombs, leading to a deadly standoff with Somali security forces.

"They killed nearly 20 people, including women and children," Somali police officer Mohamed Abdirahman was quoted by AFP as saying.

He describing it as a "barbaric and brutal attack against innocent civilians."

Police captain Mohamed Hussein was quoted by AP at the scene of the attack as saying that security forces took control of the restaurant shortly before dawn on January 22.

Police said the assailants detonated two car bombs about an hour apart during the attack. Four of the gunmen were killed, while the fifth was captured.

Hussein said a party was being held at the restaurant when the attack started, and that security forces rescued many people who had been trapped inside.

He said more than 20 people were killed in the attack, though it was not immediately clear if that number included the assailants.

Al-Shabaab, which is waging an insurgency against Somalia's weak UN-backed government, has carried out a number of deadly attacks.

Based on reporting by AFP, AP, and Reuters