MOGADISHU, Somalia — An Islamic extremist suicide bomber disguised as a police officer killed at the least 17 and injured 20 at a police academy in Somalia’s capital on Thursday, police mentioned.
Col. Mohamud Aden mentioned that 20 different officers have been wounded by the blast, a few of them severely.
The bomber, with explosives strapped round his waist and torso, infiltrated Gen. Kahiye Police Academy and focused officers gathering for particular morning workout routines, Capt. Mohamed Hussein mentioned. The officers have been rehearsing for Somalia’s Police Day celebrations scheduled for Dec. 20, Hussein mentioned.
The Somalia-based al-Shabab extremist group shortly claimed duty for the assault. Al-Shabab’s attain is huge and it is without doubt one of the most organized and harmful of Africa’s militant teams, stories CBS Information correspondent Debora Patta.
Al-Shabab, affiliated with al Qaeda, now not controls the crumbling metropolis of Mogadishu, however has nonetheless been capable of wreak havoc with its relentless bombing marketing campaign. Their weapon of selection has been the automobile bomb, just like the one used with devastating impact on October 14, killing over 500 folks within the capital.
Only some terror assaults since 9/11 have killed extra folks.
The bomber who attacked the police academy on Thursday walked into the constructing undetected and joined a protracted line of officers in a rehearsal parade earlier than he detonated the explosives below his sportswear, Capt. Hussein mentioned.
“He detonated his bomb vest having realized that his presence had drawn suspicion amongst officers within the queue,” he mentioned.
Police officer Farah Omar who was on the scene on the time of the blast mentioned the bomber focused a spot the place dozens of troopers had gathered.
“He needed to inflict a most harm,” mentioned Omar.
Al-Shabab has change into the deadliest Islamic extremist group in Africa and is more and more focused by the U.S. army after the Trump administration early this yr authorized expanded airstrikes and different efforts towards the fighters.
The U.S. has carried out at the least 32 drone strikes this yr towards al-Shabab and a small however rising variety of fighters linked to the Islamic State group, lots of them defectors from al-Shabab.
A drone strike earlier this week towards an al-Shabab automobile carrying explosives prevented an “imminent menace to the folks of Mogadishu,” the U.S. Africa Command mentioned.
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