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10 Dec 2019 | 01:51 PM UTC

Somalia: Security forces battling Al-Shabaab militants around SYL Hotel (Mogadishu) December 10 /update 1

Security forces continue to exchange gunfire with Al-Shabaab militants following attack on SYL Hotel (Mogadishu) December 10; two assailants killed

security
transportation
SOM

Event

A gun battle between security forces and militants is ongoing in the vicinity of SYL Hotel in Mogadishu as of Tuesday night (local time), November 10. Al-Shabaab has claimed responsibility for the attack on the hotel. According to officials, security forces have killed two of the assailants and are still battling two others on the premises of the hotel. Approximately 82 people have been rescued from the building; it remains unclear whether the assault resulted in any casualties among civilians or security forces.

Exchanges of gunfire are to be expected in the vicinity of the hotel over the coming hours amid a heightened security presence. Associated transportation disruptions are to be expected around the site of the attack.

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 Mogadishu 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.