Terrorist operatives and armed groups in Somalia continue to attack Somali authorities, the troops from the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and other non-military targets, according to a travel warning of the US Department of State.Americans should avoid traveling to Somalia because of the continued threat of the al-Qaeda-linked militant group al-Shabaab and the risks of kidnapping throughout the country, the US Department of State said in a travel warning on Tuesday.
“Terrorist operatives and armed groups in Somalia continue to attack Somali authorities, the troops from the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and other non-military targets,” the advisory warned. “Kidnapping, bombings, murder, illegal roadblocks, banditry and other violent incidents are common throughout Somalia, including Somaliland and Puntland.”
The advisory explained that al-Shabaab continues to attack locations popular with westerners, including restaurants and hotels, noting that there were at least eight large attacks against hotels in the capital Mogadishu last year.
Moreover, the terrorist group has successfully targeted government-controlled areas “with particular emphasis on targeting government facilities [and] foreign delegations’ facilities,” the advisory noted.
On May 19, one person was killed in a suicide bomb attack on a restaurant in Mogadishu as the Somali government hosted a delegation of the UN Security Council there.
Somalia has been mired in an armed conflict with Islamist militants for two decades. The government relies heavily on the African Union’s peacekeepers for protection.