Somalia's Shabaab kill 18 cops in academy bombing

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An Islamic extremist suicide bomber disguised as a police officer killed at least 18 people at a police academy in Somalia's capital on Thursday, authorities said.

The bomber, with explosives strapped around his waist and torso, infiltrated Gen. Kahiye Police Academy and targeted officers rehearsing for Somalia's Police Day celebrations scheduled for December 20, Capt. Mohamed Hussein said.

"So far 15 have died and 17 others were injured", Abdullahi Nur, another police official, told Reuters.

The suicide bomber infiltrated the police checkpoints and blew up himself during a police gathering, Somali National News Agency said, adding the injured had been taken to hospital.

The bomber walked into the academy undetected and joined a line of officers before he detonated the explosives under his sportswear, Hussein said. "There are casualties, and many injuries".

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A deadly double bombing, including a truck bombing, carried out by Al Shabaab killed over 500 people in Mogadishu in October - the latest in a number of increasingly sophisticated attacks on civilian, military and government targets by the militants.

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.

Earlier, the head of a local ambulance service said they had moved the bodies of 13 victims as well as 15 injured people.

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