Somalia dangers

This item appears on page 19 of the April 2014 issue.

The US government recommends avoiding all travel to Somalia, where Al-Shabaab-planned assassinations, suicide bombings and armed attacks in civilian-populated areas are frequent. There is a particular threat in places where large crowds gather and Westerners frequent.

In the capital, Mogadishu, Al-Shabaab executed a car bomb attack on a popular restaurant on Sept. 7, 2013, killing 15, on a hotel on Nov. 8, killing 15, on a police station on Nov 12, killing 12, on another hotel on Jan. 1, 2014, killing 10, at the presidential palace on Feb. 21, killing 12, and on a café on Feb. 27, killing 10.

Kidnapping, murder, illegal roadblocks, banditry and other violent incidents can occur in any region of Somalia. Interclan and interfactional fighting can flare up with no warning. The violence has resulted in the displacement of more than one million people.