MOGADISHU: Police say the death toll in an overnight attack by al-Shabab extremists on a popular restaurant in Somalia's capital has risen to 31.
Capt Mohamed Hussein says many of the victims were killed at point-blank range after the attackers hunted them down.
Police say nearly 40 people were wounded in the assault that began when a car bomb exploded outside the Pizza House restaurant in Mogadishu.
Security forces ended the siege this morning after the extremist snipers fired on them. Hussein says all five attackers were killed.
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 neutralise militants. Soldiers entered the ground floor while the insurgent attackers held positions upstairs.
Senior Somali police office Capt. Mohamed Hussein said at dawn today 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.