MOGADISHU, Oct. 19 (Xinhua) -- At least 12 people were killed and more than 15 others injured on Saturday after a suicide bomber hit a cafe in the central Somali town of Beledweyne, close to the common border with Ethiopia, a police officer said.
The suicide bomber targeted the cafe where people were gathering close to the gate of the local administration headquarters, state radio Mogadishu reported.
"The explosion killed 12 people and more than 15 were injured some of the severely after the suicide bomber detonated his explosives in the middle of the people," Harun Afey, a police officer in Beledweyne, said.
Residents say a number of people were killed and several more injured in the blast that hit the eatery popular with local residents and civil servants.
"The explosion happened as many people were at the cafe near the administration center . I saw a number of dead bodies and injured people being taken away by medics," a resident in Beledweyne told Xinhua.
Beledweyne, 300 km north of the Somali capital Mogadishu, is under the control of Somali government forces backed by African Union peacekeeping troops from Djibouti.
No group has so far claimed responsibility for the Beledweyne attack, but the state radio Mogadishu says Al-Shabaab is thought to be behind the attack.
The town of Beledweyne is a commercial hub connecting southern and northern Somalia and is at the border between Somalia and Ethiopia.
The town was under the control of Al-Shabaab for several years before they were ousted in 2012.
Al-Shabaab, which is linked to Al-Qaida, has launched attacks to show its presence in the Horn of Africa country, which is moving out of wars lingering on since the 1990s. Security is being improved with the African peacekeeping mission consolidating its hold in the capital Mogadishu and elsewhere. But the anti-terror fight is expected to continue so long as Al-Shabaab is capable of strike.