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26 killed in Al Shabaab hotel attack in Kismayo, Somalia

On July 12th 2019, a car bomb was detonated outside a hotel in Kismayo, Somalia. The attack left at least 26 dead and 56 injured.

Following the blast, fighters began firing beginning a clash that lasted 12 hours.

It was unclear how many casualties resulted from the gun fight that followed the initial blast.

A presidential candidate in the upcoming regional elections was among those killed in the violence, as well as journalists and foreign citizens.

Al Shabaab claimed responsibility for the attack.

Action on Armed Violence (AOAV) records casualties (i.e. people killed and injured) from explosive violence around the world as reported in English-language news sources.

In 2018, Somalia was one of the countries that saw a significant decrease in civilian harm from explosive violence (with a 48% decrease in civilian casualties from 1,582 to 825). Nevertheless, Somalia was still the sixth worst impacted country from explosive weapons, with 825 civilian casualties from such violence.

Of these civilian casualties, 94% were caused by improvised explosive devices (IEDs) – 64% were from incidents using suicide attacks.

However, Somalia saw civilian casualties from explosive violence increase by 34% in the first six months of 2019, compared to the same period last year, from 311 in the first half of 2018 to 416 in 2019.

Al Shabaab’s use of explosive violence saw civilian casualties from its terrorism increase by 50% (from 238 to 356).

AOAV calls for states and international organisations to work collaboratively to generate greater awareness of the number of civilians killed and injured each year by IEDs, and encourage a greater stigma from political, religious and social leaders on the use of IEDs. There is an urgent need for preventative measures to be implemented by States and the international community.