Somalia's Shabaab kill 18 cops in academy bombing

15 December, 2017, 07:46 | Author: Katrina Soto
  • An MQ-9 Reaper remotely piloted aircraft assigned to the 163d Attack Wing soars over Southern California skies on a training flight to March Air Reserve Base California on Sept. 15 2016. Tech. Sgt. Neil Ballecer  Air National Guard

A suicide bomber struck the main police academy in Somalia capital Mogadishu on Thursday.

"We lost 18 police officers and 15 others were injured".

The officers were rehearsing at Somalia police academy for the annual event of Somalia's Police Day celebrations scheduled for December 20, Hussein said.

Female police officers were among those killed in the attack in which Al-Shabaab militant group has claimed responsibility. According to reports, several people are feared dead in the attack, with few reports claiming it to be around 13.

"It was martyrdom operation, in which the mujahedeen targeted the police academy camp", a statement posted on a pro-Shabaab website read.

The Shabaab has been fighting to overthrow successive internationally-backed governments in Mogadishu since 2007 and frequently deploys auto and truck bombs against military, government and civilian targets.

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"Some of the police were already in lines, and others were gathering, when the man in police uniform entered and blew himself up", said Hussein Ali.

Police spokesman Major Mohamed Hussein said the attacker had explosives strapped to his body and infiltrated the General Kahiye Police Training Academy during an early morning parade.

Al-Shabab spokesman Abdiasis Abu Musab told Reuters that it was behind the attack.

The group, which is allied to al Qaeda, is waging an insurgency against the UN-backed government and its African Union allies.

The attack comes barely two months after the militants stormed Nasa Hablood II hotel in the city centre killing more than 25 people.

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