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State Department orders officials to leave Somalia’s capital

U.S. officials in Somalia have been ordered to leave Mogadishu due to the risk of terrorist attacks, the State Department announced in a bulletin.

“Due to specific threat information against U.S. personnel on the Mogadishu International Airport, the U.S. Mission to Somalia has directed its non-essential U.S. citizen employees to depart Mogadishu until further notice,” the State Department warned Saturday.

That warning comes on the heels of a pair of airstrikes against Islamic State terrorists in Somalia. U.S Africa Command announced that attacks succeeded in “killing several terrorists” Friday, although the full import of the strike wasn’t immediately known.

“The Department of State continues to warn U.S. citizens against travel to Somalia,” Saturday’s bulletin emphasized. “The security situation in Somalia is extremely unstable, and the threat to all U.S. citizens in Somalia remains critical. The Department of State urges all U.S. citizens who decide to remain in Somalia to review your personal security plans, take appropriate steps to enhance your personal safety, remain aware of your surroundings, monitor local media for updates, and maintain a high level of vigilance.

An American-led coalition succeeded to driving the Islamic State from their capital of Raqqa, Syria, in October, but the ensuing weeks have validated warnings that the terror threat wouldn’t end with the destruction of the self-proclaimed caliphate. The Islamic State took credit for an attack in New York City on Tuesday that killed eight people, calling the suspect a “soldier of the caliphate.” Four American soldiers operating in Niger were killed in a late October ambush, as well.

“The war is headed to Africa,” Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said at the time. “It’s beginning to morph. As we suppress the enemy in the Mideast, they are going to move. They are not going to quit.”

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