Blast at busy restaurant kills 15, wounds 20 in Somali city

Somali women queue to vote. (Photo/Mustafa Saeed/AFP/Getty Images)

MOGADISHU, Somalia (AP) — Police say at least 15 people are dead after a suicide bomber detonated an explosive vest at a crowded restaurant during lunch hour in Beledweyne, the capital of Somalia’s Hiran region.

The dead were mostly civilians, and 20 other people were wounded, police spokesman Dini Roble Ahmed told The Associated Press by phone.

The blast caused “huge damage,” he said.

The al-Shabab extremist group claimed responsibility.

The explosion comes amid Somalia’s long-delayed and often tense election process.