Two explosions, including a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device (VBIED), were reported in Mogadishu on Wednesday, January 23. The first explosion targeted a hotel; the second explosion, a suspected VBIED, reportedly detonated in front of a bank on Sodonka Avenue. The VBIED detonation killed at least two people and wounded three others. No group immediately claimed responsibility for the blasts; nevertheless, Al-Shabaab is suspected of carrying them out. A heightened security presence is to be expected near the affected sites over the coming hours.
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 Mogadishu are advised to monitor developments to the situation, avoid the area of the blasts, and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities and their home governments.
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