Al-Shabaab militants have killed at least ten people in a complex attack on Asasey Hotel in Kismayo on Friday, July 12. Fighting was reportedly still ongoing between militants and security forces in the hotel as of late Friday evening (local time), following an initial assault which included a suicide vehicle-borne improvised explosive device (SVBIED) attack and a subsequent small arms attack. The death toll may rise over the coming hours.
Continued fighting is to be expected in the vicinity of the hotel over the coming hours amid a heightened security presence. Similar Al-Shabaab attacks are possible in Kismayo and other Somali cities over the near term.
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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