The Somali federal government fired two Somali security officials on October 28 after an attack by militants killed at least 29 people. Al-Shabab, a jihadist group based in East Africa, later claimed responsibility for the killings, which came two weeks after the deadly October 14 attack that claimed the lives of over 350 Somalis in Mogadishu.
Car bombs drove into the Nasahablod Two Hotel and what was once a parliamentary house on October 28. The militants responsible for the attack explained that they targeted the hotel because it is “frequented by security officials and politicians,” BBC reports. At the hotel, Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed was set to meet with the leaders of the country’s states.
Police reported that security forces captured three of the militants, while two others died in a suicide attack. Minister of Security Abdelaziz Ali publicly explained that “two of the attackers were killed and three others were captured alive after a ten-hour gun battle between our security forces and the terrorists.”
The day after the October 14 attack, Mohamed called on Somalis to join the war against Al-Shabab. “It is time for us to unite, and I call for all Somalis to join hands together in the fight against the common enemy,” he declared. After this attack, the president visited Uganda, Ethiopia, and Djibouti, with the hopes of gaining support and assistance to the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM). Following his travels, Mohamed publicly affirmed that all three nations “pledged a [sic]full support” for Somalia’s campaign against Al-Shabab.
In 2020, however, AMISOM will withdraw 22,000 soldiers, leaving the Somali military to pick up the slack. Recently, the U.S. has increased its presence in the region and carried out more drone strikes targeting Al-Shabab.