Al-Shabaab militants are reportedly carrying out a complex attack on Maamuus hotel in Kismayo on Friday evening (local time), July 12. An explosion was heard in the city followed by gunshots, according to media reports. Unconfirmed reports claim Al-Shabaab has claimed responsibility for the attack, which is feared to have resulted in multiple casualties.
Further details are still emerging. Continued fighting is to be expected in the affected area amid a heightened security presence over the coming hours.
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 Kismayo 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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