Horn Dispatch Weekly Security Brief 03.26.24

(Photo Credit: Reuters)

Somalia Arrest 16 in Connection with Mogadishu Hotel Attack  

The Somali government says it arrested 16 suspects in connection with the March 14 SYL Hotel attack.

The information minister, Daud Aweis, said on X that the suspects who were arrested on Saturday include Abdinasir Dahir Nur, the mastermind of the attack, and four others registered to the vehicles used in the attack.

The hotel attack in Mogadishu began with bombings followed by heavy gunfire, killing three soldiers and injuring more than 20 people.

The security forces battled the al-Shabab militants in the hotel for 13 hours, killing all the attackers.

Kenya Seize Explosives Materials in Garissa County 

Kenya security forces say they seized material used to make explosives on al-Shabab base at Alango area, Garissa County. 

The joint security operation conducted Sunday recovered an AK47 rifle, two magazines, porches, and assorted foodstuffs.

Kenyan authorities say the three suspects, who are experts in making and assembling explosives, escaped from the area. 

Kenyan security agencies killed five suspected al-Shabab fighters, and four were arrested in Garissa County in a security operation on March 2.

Al-Shabab has carried out two attacks in Garissa County, targeting security forces operating in the region.  

Al-Shabab Strikes Military Base Near Mogadishu  

At least seven Somali government soldiers were killed in an al-Shabab military base in the Lower Shabelle region. 

The militant group launched a Saturday dawn attack on the government-run military base at Busley base, 17 kilometers south of Mogadishu. 

Al-Shabab claimed to have overrun the base that housed military and police units inflicting heavy losses on the government forces.

Four Killed in Kenyan Border 

Four people were killed, including three security officers, when explosives planted in a small hotel in a Kenyan border town of Mandera exploded Monday morning.

Kenya police said the blast was caused by an improvised explosive device planted at the hotel and was detonated as a crowd of people sat down to eat breakfast.

The blast injured more than 11 people, some of whom are in critical condition, according to the Mandera police chief Samwel Mutunga. 

Kenyan authorities have blamed the attack on al-Shabab, but the group is yet to claim responsibility for the attack.

Al-Shabab Appoint Governors for Juba Regions 

Al-Shabab has named two governors for the Lower Juba and Middle Juba regions, replacing the former governor Sheikh Mohamed Abu Abdalla.

On Friday, the pro-jihadist website Somali Memo reported that the group’s political and governorates bureau appointed Sheikh Ahmed Abu Yunus as governor of the Lower Juba region and Sheikh Ali Darwish as head of Middle Juba.

The group did not give a reason for firing its most powerful administrator in the Juba regions, where the group enjoys heavy presence and influence.

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