Abu Musab said they killed six employees working for Hiran regional administration in the restaurant bombing, and injured several others.
Thirteen others were wounded, he told AFP.
The area in the far southeast of the country has largely escaped the attacks waged by the Islamist Shabaab group in Kenya and neighbouring Somalia.
The Shabaab have sworn to overthrow Somalia’s fragile government, which is kept in place with worldwide support. “A suicide bomber blew up himself in a restaurant”, Major Hussein Osman, a police officer, told Reuters news agency from Beledweyne.
The Sunday afternoon blast took place outside the office of the governor of the Hiran region, where he was holding a meeting, police and residents said.
Col. Sabrie Ahmed said the bomber apparently meant to enter the regional administration’s headquarters in Beledweyne, the provincial capital of Hiran province, but instead detonated an explosive belt strapped around his waist in a teashop outside the offices. Residents said clan elders were among the dead.
The attack comes just three days after another suicide bomber wearing an explosive vest attacked a restaurant in Baidoa, killing five people including two Somali humanitarian aid workers. “We were heading to a meeting in the governor’s office when it happened”.
The Shabaab is fighting to overthrow the internationally backed government in Mogadishu but also often carries out attacks in Kenya, which has troops in Somalia as part of an African Union force.