Dar es Salaam. The UK High Commission in Tanzania has warned British nationals in the East African nation against a terror attack, telling them that “terrorists are very likely to try to carry out attacks in Tanzania in the near future.”
In a travel advice published Tuesday, it advises UK citizens against travelling to “any area within 20km of the Tanzanian border with the Cabo Delgado province of Mozambique, due to attacks by groups linked with Islamic extremism.”
The area is infamous for protracted fighting between Mozambican/Tanzanian authorities and terrorist groups linked with the international terror group Islamic State.
The fighting in the northern part of Mozambique has split across the border with Tanzania, which is contributing troops to the country under the umbrella of the Southern African Development Community (SADC).
Around 75,000 British nationals visit Tanzania every year, according to the UK High Commission, and while most visits to Tanzania are trouble-free, “violent and armed crime is increasing,” it states.
“Terrorists are very likely to try to carry out attacks in Tanzania,” the advisor added.
There has not been a recently reported terrorist attack in Tanzania. However, terrorist groups based in the Cabo Delgado province have attacked the country, mainly in Mtwara, which borders Mozambique.
In 2020, for example, about 300 terrorists infiltrating from northern Mozambique killed at least 20 civilians in Mtwara. They also attacked civilians and damaged properties, forcing scores of people to abandon their homes.
The last known terrorist act in Dar es Salaam took place on August 25, 2021, when three police officers and one civilian were killed following a shootout with a man who was on a shooting spree roaming the Ali Hassan Mwinyi Road from the Selandar Bridge area.
The man, who wielded two assault rifles and took Dar es Salaam in a momentous shock, was identified by family members as Hamza Hassan Mohamed. The thirty-year-old man is reportedly a resident of Upanga, Dar es Salaam.
On January 26, 2023, a security alert released by the U.S. Embassy in Dar es Salaam warning of a looming terrorist attack in the commercial capital caused panic among its residents.
But police told people they have no reason to panic as the security situation is under control. Authorities are yet to respond to the advisory published by the UK High Commission on Tuesday, October 31, 2023.
The alert comes about two weeks after a similar one issued for “certain areas in Uganda” following the deaths of three people, including a Briton, in a suspected terrorist attack in the country’s Queen Elizabeth National Park.
Also killed in the Uganda incident, which occurred in mid-October, were a South African national and a local tour guide.
The alert notes that although Tanzania has not suffered a major terrorist incidence since the bombing of the US Embassy in 1998, there have been several smaller-scale incidents, citing incidents in Mtwara.
“Attacks could be indiscriminate and occur without warning,” the advisory says. “There is a risk of kidnapping for ransom and political purposes.”
“Places frequented by Westerners, including places of worship, transport hubs, embassies, hotels and restaurants, and major gatherings like sporting and religious events may be targets,” it adds.