“It was horrible, I counted 12 people killed – among them soldiers – and many others were injured,” Mohamed Islow Ali, a witness, told AFP by telephone.
“There were a lot of people in the restaurant when the bomber blew himself up, many people have died including civilians,” Hussein Ali, another witness said.
No one has claimed the attack, which targeted a restaurant said to be popular with soldiers.
In June 2009, 20 people including Somalia’s security minister were killed in Beledweyne, when a suicide bomb blast claimed by the Al-Qaeda-linked Shabaab ripped through a hotel.
The town lies some 300 kilometres (185 miles) north of the capital Mogadishu close to the border with Ethiopia.