Terrorist Outfit Al-Shabab Claims Responsibility for Somalia Police Academy Attack

Burnt out cars following a truck bomb in Somalia. AFP file

Burnt out cars following a truck bomb in Somalia. AFP file

Officers said the toll could have been far worse had the attacker detonated his bomb in the centre of the crowd.

The death toll in the early Thursday suicide bombing attack at General Kahiye Police Academy in Mogadishu has risen to 13 while 15 others were injured. Later on Thursday, police attended the funerals of some of their colleagues killed in the attack.

The acting police commissioner said the bombing took place as recruits and officers were preparing for special exercises for the country's upcoming "Police Day". On November 13, the Pentagon said U.S. forces had killed more than 40 Shabaab and Islamic State fighters over four days.

The U.S. military launched an airstrike against al-Shabaab in Somalia early Tuesday morning, targeting an explosives-filled vehicle, U.S. Africa Command said in a statement.

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"... a suicide bomber wearing a fake Somali police uniform came out of a nearby kiosk and blew himself up in between the police officers who were busy taking their breakfast", announced acting Police Commissioner Muqtar Afrah.

However, the Al-Qaeda-affiliated Shabaab has repeatedly attacked police officers in its decade-old battle to overthrow successive internationally-backed governments in Mogadishu.

The militants were driven out of Mogadishu in 2011 and have since been steadily losing territory to the combined forces of African Union peacekeepers and Somali security forces.

Al-Shabab has been blamed for the massive truck bombing in the capital in October that left 512 dead.

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