Mogadishu beefs up security due to ‘terror’ fears
Somali police beefed up security in capital Mogadishu on Friday in light of a reported tipoff about possible “terrorist” attacks by the Al-Shabaab militant group, a security source has said.
The streets of Mogadishu saw heavy deployments of security personnel, who set up checkpoints in order to search cars and check passengers’ IDs, an Anadolu Agency correspondent reported.
National Security Ministry spokesman Mohamed Youssef said that security forces were “on high alert to face any terrorist attack by the anti-government Al-Shabaab group.”
“Security agencies have received intelligence indicating that the militant group is planning a terrorist attack in the capital,” Youssef said, without specifying which areas might be targeted.
“Security operations will continue day and night across the capital until we foil Al-Shabaab’s possible terrorist attacks,” he added.
On Thursday, security forces seized an auto rickshaw laden with explosives in downtown Mogadishu, which authorities believe was intended to target police officials.
The capital has seen stepped-up security measures since last month’s twin suicide blast at a Mogadishu hotel that left at least 12 people dead, including several top government officials.
Al-Shabaab, which has waged an insurgency against the Somali government in recent years, has recently suffered several significant blows, losing most of its strongholds in southern and central Somalia to government and African Union troops.
Several group members have also recently been killed in U.S. drone strikes.
The group, however, has continued to stage deadly attacks on government officials and security troops.