Local Somali officials reported on Saturday, September 5, that at least 30 people, including 16 al-Shabaab militants, were killed in heavy fighting in the village of Shabeelow (Galmudug region) when villagers took up arms to prevent the militants from the theft of their livestock. Local freelance militiamen were also among the fatalities. Many of the injured have been hospitalized in the town of Galkayo. Local elders have called on the federal government to provide additional security for the welfare of the citizens living in areas of common criminal activity.A heightened security presence is to be expected in the vicinity of the incident. Further attacks cannot be ruled out over the near term.
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 Somalia are advised to remain vigilant and obey all instructions issued by the local authorities. 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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