A survivor of Thursday’s attack on a beach restaurant in the Somali capital Mogadishu has described how he and his friends went back to save a 10-year-old boy caught up in the violence.
When the shooting started, Mohamed Dhaaley ran for his life, but stopped after hearing a voice cry: “Please, don’t leave me,” he told the BBC.
The men took the boy, who had a chest wound from shrapnel, to the hospital, where he is now recovering, he added.
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A Facebook post by Mr Dhaaley telling the story has been shared widely in Somalia.
A member of the boy’s family, who had lost contact with him during the attack, saw the post and tracked him down to the hospital, Mr Dhaaley told the BBC Somali Service’s Mohammud Ali.
The boy has now been reunited with his mother and sister.
Mr Dhaaley says that in the car on the way to the hospital, the young boy looked at his friend Ahmed, saying: ”Uncle, I will never forget you if I survive this, thanks for saving my life”.
In a phone conversation earlier, the boy asked his rescuer to promise him that he would never go back to the Beach View restaurant.
The gunmen approached the restaurant from Lido beach on Thursday evening, firing on diners and taking some hostage.
Security forces then surrounded the attackers at the restaurant for eight hours overnight before the siege was ended.
Al-Shabab said it was behind the attack. The Islamist militant which is part of al-Qaeda, has carried out frequent assaults on the Somali capital.
Lido beach, on the northern edge of Mogadishu, attracts thousands of mostly young Somalis who come to relax and enjoy the beach and the surf.