At least six people were killed and 14 injured following a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device (VBIED) attack that targeted a Mogadishu government office building in Howlwadag district on Sunday, September 2. In addition to the government building, the blast also destroyed a neighboring school and damaged other nearby structures; at least six children are reportedly among the injured. According to local authorities, the attacker attempted to drive his explosives-laden car through a security checkpoint but was stopped by security forces, resulting in the deaths of three soldiers; the perpetrator then detonated his vehicle at the gate of the Howlwadag district headquarters. The surrounding area has been cordoned off while emergency response continues. Al-Shabaab subsequently claimed responsibility for the attack.
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.
Individuals in Mogadishu are advised to monitor developments to the situation, avoid the vicinity of the attack site until the situation normalizes, and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities and their home governments.
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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