At least 50 people, including three senior military officers, have been killed during the Al-Shabaab attack on the town of Af Urur on Thursday, June 8. Officials have disputed Al-Shabaab's claim that at least 61 soldiers were killed in the fighting, and Puntland security minister, Abdi Hirsi Ali, stated that most of the casualties are civilians. Media sources also claim that approximately 20 soldiers were wounded in the attack.
Militants destroyed part of the base and burned dozens of military vehicles, before security forces repelled the attack.
Al-Shabaab continues to control large zones in the south and center of the country and attacks have been on the rise in the northern parts of Somalia, including Puntland, since late 2016. 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.
Puntland, an arid region of northeast Somalia, declared itself an autonomous state in August 1998 to distance itself from the clan warfare engulfing southern Somalia. It is generally considered a relatively stable part of Somalia.
Individuals present in Somalia are advised to avoid the affected area and to monitor developments to the situation.
Due to the high threat of terrorism, individuals present throughout the country are advised to avoid government and institutional buildings as well as political events due to Al-Shabaab's tendency to target political figures and security forces. Because of extremely poor security conditions, travel should only be considered with appropriate security precautions in place.
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