A suicide vehicle-borne improvised explosive device (SVBIED) detonated near an Ethiopian military base in Bardere (Gedo region) on Saturday, February 2. Al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for the attack; the assault left at least ten people dead, according to a local elder who reportedly witnessed the attack. According to the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), the attack took place at a security checkpoint while the driver of the vehicle was being questioned, killing one AMISOM soldier and leaving four others wounded. Similar Al-Shabaab attacks are possible in southern Somalia over the near term.
Al-Shabaab continues to control large zones in the south and center of the country and attacks from the group are frequent across Somalia, 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 the affected area are advised to monitor developments to the situation, avoid the area of the blast, and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities and their home governments.
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