At least six Somali soldiers were killed on Wednesday, October 7, after a roadside improvised explosive device (IED) detonated near Balad (Middle Shabelle region) some 36km (22.4 mi) northeast of Mogadishu. A further four people were wounded in the attack. Unverified media reports suggest that the IED targeted a vehicle carrying the District Commissioner and their team of bodyguards. Al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for the attack.
Fighting has continued in the area over the last few days; on Monday, October 5, the Somali National Army (SNA) reportedly captured the village of Basra, on the outskirts of Balad, from Al-Shabaab. Security operations are possible in response to the attack over the coming days. Further militant attacks are likely over the medium 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.
Those in the area are advised to remain vigilant 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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