The Islamist extremist group, Al-Shabaab, are behind a suicide attack that took place inside a cafe in the Somali city of Beledweyne early Saturday morning; the death count is currently at 16, CNN reported.
The city of Beledweyn, which is more than 200 miles north of Mogadishu and near the Ethiopian border, is a commercial hub linking southern and northern Somalia, according to CNN.
Beledweyne is a town in the central part of Africa and is the capital of the Hirran province. It's frequented by local and foreign soldiers who are fighting against al-Queda linked rebels. Some of the soldiers were among the dead and injured, CNN reported.
The attack took place near the administrative office in the region; seven government soldiers died and top Somali military commanders were injured and hospitalized with at least 33 people injured, Hirran deputy governor Mohamed Ibrahim Ali said, according to CNN.
"A man with an explosives jacket entered unexpectedly in the tea shop where soldiers and civilians sat ... and blew himself up," a local elder Ahmed Nur said speaking from the scene of the blast, Reuters reported.
Prime Minister Abdi Farah Shirdon condemned the attack in the strongest terms and sends his condolences to the families of all the innocent civilians who were killed and wounded, CNN reported.
"A process of establishing a regional administration in the area has been under way in the past couple of days," the prime minister's office said, according to CNN.
Shirdon added that "the motive of these attacks are to frighten Somali people, these acts of terrorism will not derail the progress made across Somalia," CNN reported.
After the attack on the Westgate Mall in Kenya, al-Shabaab has threatened to continue with attacks unless Kenyan President removes forces seeking extremist in Somalia. On their website, Al-Shabaab stated they were responsible for the attacks and said they killed Somali and Ethiopian troops who have been fighting Al-Shabaab, CNN reported.
According to Reuters, Abdirahman Omar Osman, spokesman for President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, said Saturday's bombing "was deliberately aimed at destabilize the city and this is something we will not tolerate and it will not stop our plan to establish a local government in the region."