At least four Somali National Army (SNA) soldiers were killed on Sunday, October 18, between El-Baraf and Biyo Adde (Middle Shabelle region) after an improvised explosive device (IED) detonated. Reports indicate that the soldiers were escorting a senior military officer from Jalalaqsi to Mogadishu when their vehicle struck an IED causing it to detonate. It is unclear if the senior officer sustained injuries in the attack, however, several other soldiers were reportedly wounded. No group has claimed responsibility for the blast this time, although Al-Shabaab has been responsible for similar incidents in the past.
Further militant attacks targeting security forces are likely in the region in the near term. Security operations are possible in response to the attack.
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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