Somalia: UK Directs Its Citizens to Leave Somalia

Al-Shabaab fighters.

The UK has directed all its citizens to leave Somalia warning of possible terror attacks and kidnappings adding security in the Horn of Africa country remained volatile.

In a travel advisory Monday, the Foreign Commonwealth Office (FCO) however singled out Berbera and Hargeisa as relatively safe but urged against any non- essential travel.

"Any British nationals in areas of Somalia to which the FCO advise against all travel should leave," the advisory read in part.

"Any British nationals in Hargeisa or Berbera who are not on essential travel should leave."

The British government noted there have been threats including kidnapping against westerners and those working for western organisations in Somalia. "Terrorists are very likely to try to carry out attacks in Somalia. There is a high threat of kidnap throughout Somalia."

A German nurse working for the International Committee of the Red Cross was kidnapped early May from the charity's compound in KM5 area in Mogadishu. The government later identified the kidnapper as a security guard with ICRC.

Hotels remain high risks areas, the advisory noted adding terrorists attacks 'could be indiscriminate, including in crowded places, high-profile events, events involving government officials and in places visited by foreigners.'

Security has been beefed up in major towns in Somalia particularly the capital Mogadishu ahead of the Ramadan end this weekend. Major roads have been closed with security forces manning several points in the city.

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