Somali extremists in bloody restaurant siege through night

 

MOGADISHU, Somalia (AP) — Fighting continued through the night as Somalia’s al-Shabab Islamic extremists fought off heavily armed soldiers in a bloody siege at a popular Mogadishu restaurant.

Extremist snipers fired on security troops who surrounded the restaurant building and used big guns mounted on the backs of vehicles to neutralize militants. Soldiers entered the ground floor while the insurgent attackers held positions upstairs.

Senior Somali police office Capt. Mohamed Hussein said at dawn Thursday that at least one attacker was firing on troops from inside the restaurant.

The roofs were blown off the Pizza House restaurant and nearby buildings from the powerful blasts.

High casualties are feared in the attack on the busy restaurant. Police said the bodies of five girls thought to have been killed by militants were found in the restaurant.

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