Somalia's Al-Qaeda-linked Shebab rebels on Tuesday claimed responsibility for a weekend bomb attack on a Djibouti restaurant packed with Westerners.
"As part of the ongoing Jihad against the Western-led Crusade against Islam, Harakat Al-Shabaab Al Mujahideen forces have on Saturday night carried out a successful operation against the coalition of Western Crusaders based in Djibouti," the group said in a statement.
The group said the attack "targeted a restaurant frequented predominantly by French Crusaders and their NATO allies from the US, Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands, resulting in 35 casualties".
"The attack was carried out against the French Crusaders for their complicity in the massacres and persecution of our Muslim brothers in the Central African Republic and for their active role in training and equipping the apostate Djiboutian troops in Somalia and their growing intervention in the affairs of our Muslim lands," the Shebab statement said.
Local officials said three people -- a Turkish national and two suicide bombers, one of them a woman -- died in the attack, although the Shebab statement claimed that two "senior French commanders" were also killed.
The group said the attack was carried out in retaliation for Djibouti's hosting of the United States' biggest military base in Africa. The US base is used for operations across the region, including drone strikes against the Islamists in Somalia.
Troops from Djibouti are also part of the African Union force in Somalia fighting the Shebab.
"Having assented to the terms of the contract in the war against Islam with Barack Obama and having allowed access of your land and facilities to the Crusaders, you have voluntarily signed a deal with the devil," the statement said in a message directed at Djibouti's President Ismail Omar Guelleh.
"This attack is just the beginning; it's merely the preliminary response and what will soon follow -- should you refuse to desist -- will be far worse," it warned, calling on Djibouti to "pull your apostate troops out of Somalia immediately and expel all the Crusaders".
"Failure to do so would incur far-reaching repercussions for your country, both in terms of your security and economy," it added.
Shebab also urged ordinary Djiboutians to "stay well away from the Crusaders as they are the main target", and to "refrain from socialising with them or visiting their facilities and attending their gatherings for your own safety".
In a message to the "crusaders", the statement said: "You will not continue to enjoy the sun in Djibouti while you bury our children under tonnes of rubble and while you continue to persecute innocent Muslims in every corner of the world."