A vehicle-borne improvised explosive device (VBIED) detonated outside of the Global Hotel in Galkayo on the evening (local time) of Saturday, December 21. The explosion reportedly killed six people and wounded at least ten others. Officials stated that Somalia's land force commanders and several other military officials were in the hotel at the time of the attack, but all escaped uninjured. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack as of 00:39 on Sunday, December 22. Similar attacks are possible in Galkayo over the near term.
A heightened security presence is to be expected in the vicinity of the incident over the coming hours.
Al-Shabaab continues to exercise effective control over large zones in the south and center of Somalia and attacks from the group are frequent across the country, including in Mogadishu. The group often targets government officials and military infrastructure in a bid to topple the West- and UN-backed government and impose its own strict interpretation of Islam in Somalia.
Individuals in Galkayo are advised to avoid the affected area, monitor developments to the situation, remain vigilant for militant activity, and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities and their home governments.
The security environment in Somalia remains complex. Professional security advice and support should be sought prior to travel.