Somalia: Car bomb explodes at police academy in Mogadishu

By Staff reporter , Garowe Online

MOGADISHU, Somalia - A loud explosion followed by sustained gunfire was heard in the downtown of Mogadishu, the Somali capital on Thursday evening, Garowe Online reports.

Captain Mohamed Dahir, a senior Somali police officer confirmed to Garowe Online that a vehicle filled with explosives was detonated at the entrance of General Kahiye police training camp in the city.

Dahir said the local ambulance services moved the bodies of several dead bodies as well as a dozen injured people from the scene and rushed to the city's main hospital for medical treatment.

The Al-Qaeda-affiliated militant group Al Shabab has immediately claimed responsibility for the overnight car bomb attack in Mogadishu, however, it gave no details on the death toll.

The extremist group said in a statement posted on its mouthpiece radio station, Andalus that it targeted an area opposite the academy, where senior police officers often hold gathering.

The blast comes a day after Somali Police Force Deputy Commissioner, Colonel Zakia Hussein urged the public to be extra vigilant about the VBIED Prado car in the capital.

The training academy was attacked in the past by the militants.

In December 2017, a suicide bomber disguised as a policeman blew himself up inside the police training camp and killed at least 17 officers and injured scores of the others during an early morning parade.

Al-Shabaab is waging an insurgency against the UN-backed government and its African Union (AU) allies in a bid to topple the Mogadishu-based administration.