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20 dead in Somalia bomb blasts

From Omar Nor, For CNN
updated 8:15 AM EDT, Sat September 7, 2013
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • A pair of blasts struck at a restaurant in the Somali capital
  • Police say at least 20 people were killed
  • The restaurant is popular with journalists and civil servants

Mogadishu, Somalia (CNN) -- A pair of bomb blasts in Mogadishu Saturday killed at least 20 people, most of them civilians, police said.

An apparent car bomb exploded in the parking lot outside of a restaurant frequented by journalists and civil servants in the Somali capital.

Minutes later, a second bomb went off on the other side of the restaurant, police official Mohamed Ali said.

Amina Osman, owner of a nearby tea shop, said she heard powerful explosions and saw thick, black smoke billowing from behind a group of buildings at The Village restaurant Saturday morning.

Ambulances rushed to the scene of the blast, which shattered windows and sent up a cloud of smoke visible throughout much of the city, she said.

It was the second time since last year that The Village restaurant, which is located near the presidential compound, has been attacked.

No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack.

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