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Somalia: Militants reportedly holding people hostage in Mogadishu restaurant /update 1

Police officials report that militants are holding an unspecified number of people hostage in a restaurant in Mogadishu's Hodan district following a car bomb attack; avoid the area

14 juin 20h22 UTC
TIMEFRAME expected from 14/6/2017, 8h00 until 14/6/2017, 11h59 (Africa/Mogadishu). COUNTRY/REGION Mogadishu

Event

Police officials reported at 22:40 (local time) that militants have taken an unspecified number of people hostage at the Pizza House restaurant in the Hodan district of Mogadishu on Wednesday, June 14. Security forces have deployed to the area, including Somali special forces. Local media sources said that gunfire has been heard in the area and that the attackers are barricaded inside the building. Avoid the area.

Context

The attack started after a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device (VBIED) detonated outside the Posh Treats and Pizza House restaurants near the Banadir Hospital. Al-Shabaab has claimed responsibility for the bombing. Police officials have confirmed that at least four people have been killed and the death toll is expected to rise. 

Mogadishu frequently experiences attacks by Al-Shabaab, which continues to control large zones in the south and center of the country. The group often targets government officials and military infrastructure in a bid to topple the Western- and United Nations-backed government and impose its own strict interpretation of Islam in Somalia.

Advice

Individuals in Mogadishu are advised to avoid the area of the blast and to monitor the situation.

Due to extremely poor security conditions, Western governments generally advise their citizens against all travel to Somalia; professional security advice and support should be sought prior to travel.

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