At least two people were killed and more than seven injured late Thursday when a car bomb exploded near the gate of the national police academy in Somalia’s capital, said officials.
The blast occurred near General Kahiye Police Academy in Mogadishu, police officer Mohamed Bulle told reporters in the Somali capital.
“A car bomb blast targeted a security checkpoint near General Kahiye Police Academy. We can confirm that two civilians, including a woman, were killed and seven others were wounded,” Bulle said.
The wounded were rushed to hospitals for treatment, he added.
The academy is a highly protected compound located in Mogadishu’s Hamar-Jajab neighborhood.
The Al-Qaeda affiliated group al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for the attack.
The attack comes hours after the Somali government announced long-awaited military operations against al-Shabaab in the Lower Shabelle region about 40 miles (64 kilometers) west of the capital.
“Preparations are underway for the Somali army’s major operation in the country, with most parts of terrorist stronghold territories being brought back under the control of the government. All eyes are now on the Shabelle region after a long-awaited military operation against the terrorists,” the country’s information ministry said on Twitter.