Suicide bomber kills 17 at Somali police academy

A suicide bomber belonging to the Islamist terrorist group al-Shabaab killed at least 17 people inside a police training academy in the Somali capital Mogadishu early on Thursday.

The attack happened when officers were rehearsing for Somalia’s Police Day celebrations scheduled for December 20.

At least 20 people were injured when the bomber in a police uniform blew himself up at General Kahiye Police Training Academy where people had gathered to watch the parade. He targeted a spot where dozens of soldiers had assembled to inflict maximum damage.

Al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for the blast on the pro-insurgent radio station Anadlus shortly after the attack.

Al-Shabaab regularly launches attacks on government buildings, hotels and restaurants in Somalia.

The group is seeking to establish an Islamist State in Somalia and is affiliated to the international al-Qaeda terrorist network.

It was linked to a truck bombing that left 512 dead in Mogadishu in October this year.

The US has carried out at least 22 drone strikes this year against al-Shabab and IS fighters. Last month, a US drone attack left several al-Shabab militants dead in the Bay Region 100 miles away from the capital.