British government warns terrorists in final stages of planning attacks in Mogadishu, following statement by Foreign Office
guardian.co.uk, Friday 5 April 2013Terrorists are in the final stages of planning attacks in the Somali capital, Mogadishu, the British government has warned.
Concerns about a possible attack were highlighted in a statement issued by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), which already advises against all travel to Somalia.
The Foreign Office’s website states that attacks in and around Mogadishu continue to be carried out by al-Shabaab, a terrorist group, and others opposed to the Somali government.
Attacks in the past have targeted government institutions, hotels, restaurants and public transport, including the international airport.
An FCO spokesperson said: “We have amended our travel advice for Somalia. Our advice makes clear that there continues to be a high threat from terrorism and that the FCO believes that terrorists are in the final stages of planning attacks in Mogadishu. We advise against all travel to all parts of Somalia.”
“The safety of British nationals abroad is a major concern for the FCO. We therefore attach great importance to providing information about personal safety and security overseas, including an assessment of the level of threat from terrorism, to enable people to make informed decisions about travel.”
Security in Mogadishu has improved greatly since a military offensive drove Islamist rebels allied to al-Qaida out of the city in August 2011. But bombings and assassinations blamed on militants still occur often.
Last month, a suicide car bomber killed at least 10 people near Mogadishu’s presidential palace in an explosion that police said was aimed at a senior security official.
The attacker blew up his car while driving along a boulevard that runs between the palace and the national theatre.
In late September, al-Shabaab withdrew from the southern Indian Ocean port of Kismayu, its last major urban bastion in the east African state, signalling its demise as a quasi-conventional military force, but it pledged to step up a campaign of suicide bombings and hit-and-run attacks.