On 17 August 2020, al-Shabab militants launched an assault on a Somali military base, located in the Goof Gaduud area, approximately 30 km (20 mi) northwest of the town of Baidoa, the capital of Bay region. A suicide bomber detonated a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device (VBIED) at the gate of the base, killing three soldiers. Armed militants then engaged in a gunbattle with soldiers and briefly entered the base; the assailants detonated another IED later in the day, killing two more soldiers. An al-Shabab spokesperson stated that the group had killed at least eight soldiers, including the commander of the base.

Separately, on 16 August al-Shabab militants detonated a VBIED at the front gate of the Elite Hotel, a popular hotel with government officials, in the Lido beach area of the capital Mogadishu. Following the blast, five attackers stormed the hotel, leading to a gunbattle between the assailants and security forces. Security forces killed all five attackers and secured the hotel after approximately four hours. A government spokesperson stated that 16 people — including the five assailants and one security force member — were killed in the attack, while at least 43 others were injured.