Al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for assaulting a Somali National Army (SNA) outpost near Kismayo (Lower Juba region) on Friday, June 8. SNA soldiers, along with Kenyan and US Special Operations forces, were building an outpost near the village of Sanguni when militants started firing mortars and heavy machine guns at them. US military officials confirmed that one American soldier was killed and four wounded in the assault. At least two Somali soldiers also died. The following day, local media reported that SNA forces prevented a suspected vehicle-borne improvised explosive device (VBIED) attack in Sangui. Soldiers opened fire on the vehicle as it attempted to enter the base, killing two militants. One soldier was also wounded in the incident.
Al-Shabaab continues to control 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 Western- and UN-backed government and impose its own strict interpretation of Islam in Somalia.
The security environment in Somalia remains complex. Although travel is possible in some areas with proper security protocols in place, other areas should be considered strictly off-limits. Professional security advice and support should be sought prior to travel.
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