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

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 disguised as a policeman has blown himself up inside a police training camp in Somalia's capital Mogadishu, killing at least 18 officers, officials say.

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.

"Some of the police were already in lines, and others were gathering, when the man in police uniform entered and blew himself up", said bystander Hussein Ali. The insurgents said they killed 27 police officers.

He had just left his home on Monday afternoon in the capital Mogadishu when a bomb planted beneath the driver's seat ripped through the auto. "There are casualties, and many injuries". "Ambulances have been rushing the wounded away and taking the dead bodies". Later on Thursday, police attended the funerals of some of their colleagues killed in the attack.

Somali militant group al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for the attack.

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The security chiefs said the circumstances under which the suicide bomber infiltrated the heavily guarded police academy remain unclear.

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

Since then the United States has increased the frequency of air strikes targeting Jihadist leaders.

However, the group denied being behind a truck bomb attack in the city earlier in October that killed at least 358 people.

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