Somali authorities have confirmed Saturday the arrest of 14 people, including officers and soldiers, in connection with a suicide bombing Monday that targeted the Jalle Siyad military academy in Mogadishu. The attack killed 30 soldiers and injured 70 others.
Deputy Defense Minister Abdifitah Qasim made the announcement during a session of Somalia’s Lower House of Parliament. He reported that security agencies, including the National Security Agency and the police and military command, are actively investigating the attack on the Jalle Siyad military camp. Among those arrested was the camp commander.
Qasim underscored the government’s commitment to a thorough investigation, expressing the sentiment that the fallen soldiers are like “our own children,” and that those responsible for facilitating the attack will be held accountable.
The al-Shabab militant group claimed responsibility for the attack the day after in a statement on Telegram, stating one of its suicide bombers carried out the strike.
The bomber detonated a suicide vest as the soldiers lined up after breakfast. The soldiers had been recently deployed to Mogadishu for additional training and re-equipping, officials confirmed.
Concerns have arisen about potential ties between senior members of the security forces and al-Shabab, which has been orchestrating various assaults. This incident marks the largest number of officers and soldiers arrested in connection with an al-Shabab attack on a heavily guarded military facility.
On a separate note, Somalia’s Deputy Minister of Information, Abdirahman Yusuf Al-Adala, informed the media Saturday of a joint operation involving Somali government forces and friendly countries. The operation targeted an area between the Middle Shabelle and Galgaduud regions, killing 100 al-Shabab militants, he said. The identities of the foreign forces involved in this operation were not disclosed.
During the past several months, Somali forces have been actively combating al-Shabab in a series of military operations, focusing on central regions where the group has held control over certain areas for many years.