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23 Dec 2019 | 01:46 AM UTC

Somalia: Al-Shabaab claims Galkayo hotel bomb December 22 /update 1

Al-Shabaab spokesperson claims the December 21 hotel attack in Galkayo; further attacks possible in the near term

security
transportation
SOM

Event

A spokesperson for Al-Shabaab announced on Sunday, December 22, that the group is responsible for the vehicle-borne improvised explosive device (VBIED) that detonated outside of the Global Hotel in Galkayo at approximately 20:30 (local time) on Saturday, December 21. The explosion killed at least seven people including a few soldiers, and wounded a dozen 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.

Similar attacks are possible in Galkayo and the wider region over the near term.

Context

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.

Advice

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.