Al-Shabaab plotting attacks in Djibouti, UK says

June 12, 2014. Al-Shabaab militants are planning further attacks in Djibouti, the United Kingdom’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) warned Thursday (June 12th), after suicide bombers last month attacked a crowded restaurant.

“There are credible reports that al-Shabaab plan, and have the capability, to attack targets in Djibouti, including Western interests,” the FCO said, adding “there is a high threat from terrorism” in the capital city.

Troops from Djibouti are part of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) fighting al-Shabaab, and Djibouti’s port also serves as a key base for ships taking part in international anti-piracy operations off the Horn of Africa.

“Djibouti and Western interests within Djibouti may be seen as a legitimate target by al-Shabaab because of its support to the Somali government and its participation in the African Union peacekeeping mission,” the FCO said.

Last month at least one bystander was killed and several wounded when two suicide bombers attacked a restaurant, the first attack in Djibouti to be claimed by al-Shabaab since it joined the AMISOM force in 2011.

Al-Shabaab said the attack was also carried out in retaliation for Djibouti’s hosting of the United States’ biggest military base in Africa.

Britain has this week also released warnings to citizens in several East African nations including Ethiopia, Djibouti, Kenya and Uganda — who all contribute troops to AMISOM — speaking of the threat of attacks at public screenings of the World Cup.

“Previous terrorist attacks in the region have targeted places where football matches are being viewed,” the UK said, adding that crowded areas including “transport hubs, hotels, restaurants and bars” are also possible targets.

During the World Cup final four years ago, al-Shabaab killed at least 76 people after setting off explosions that ripped through two restaurants in the Ugandan capital Kampala.

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