At least eight people have been killed after a remotely-controlled bomb exploded in a busy restaurant in the Somali capital, according to police and local witnesses.

Police suspect Somalia’s al-Qaeda-linked al-Shabab group of planting the bomb in the Dayniile district of Mogadishu on Friday, though al-Shabab did not immediately claim responsibility for the attack.

"The remotely controlled bomb targeted government forces. Eight people died, including three soldiers," Major Kadar Mohamed, a senior police officer, told Reuters news agency.

"I could see several motionless people lying on the scene," said Fatuma Hassan, a mother of three who was near the bomb blast. "The whole place was ruined and stained with blood."

Al-Shabab fighters were pushed out of Mogadishu in 2011 by African Union peacekeeping troops, but the group has carried out several large-scale attacks on prominent targets over the past year.

Source: Reuters