Al-Shabaab has claimed responsibility for a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device (VBIED) attack at a checkpoint outside the Villa Somalia presidential complex in Mogadishu, on Thursday, March 7. Authorities indicated the blast killed at least five people. A heightened security presence and transportation disruptions are to be expected in the area over the coming hours.
The blast comes a week following a double car bombing attack by Al-Shabaab in the KM4 area of Mogadishu which killed at least 30 people and injured another 40. 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.
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.
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