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US warns of threat in Mogadishu

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The US Mission to Somalia has ordered all its non-essential employees to leave Mogadishu due to “specific threat information”.

The State Department’s Nairobi-based diplomatic unit for Somalia on Friday said the evacuation notice would remain in effect “until further notice”.

The statement, however, did not indicate the nature of the threat to US personnel in Mogadishu. They are based mainly at the capital city’s heavily fortified airport.

Friday’s order follows two major attacks in Mogadishu attributed to Al-Shabaab.

The Islamist terrorists are believed to have been responsible for an October 14 truck bombing in the city that killed more than 350 people. Explosions near the presidential palace claimed 27 more lives two weeks later.

The US does not maintain an embassy in Somalia. It maintains diplomatic relations with the country mainly through a mission at the US Embassy in Kenya.