Death toll from Mogadishu police academy attack rises to 13

Death toll from Mogadishu police academy attack rises to 13

Death toll from Mogadishu police academy attack rises to 13

Thursday's mass murder at the police academy in Somalia's capital Mogadishu left victims and injuries. It now has a weak, internationally-backed government, supported by African peacekeepers.

"We can confirm that at least 17 people were killed and 17 others wounded after a suicide attack targeted General Kahiye Police Academy", Abdullahi Hamid, state minister for the office of the prime minister, told local media.

"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 acting police commissioner said the bombing took place as recruits and officers were preparing for special exercises for the country's upcoming "Police Day".

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"The bomber could have inflicted more casualties if he could have managed to reach the midpoint where most people were", police officer Ibrahim Mohamed said. According to reports, several people are feared dead in the attack, with few reports claiming it to be around 13. Later on Thursday, police attended the funerals of some of their colleagues killed in the attack.

The Somalia-based Al-Shabab extremist group quickly claimed responsibility for the attack.

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

The airstrike, conducted southwest of Mogadishu, was done in coordination with the Somali government and was against "an al-Shabaab vehicle-borne improvised explosive device", according to the command.

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