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5 Killed in Mogadishu Bombing After Report That US Will Pull Troops from Somalia 

FILE - Paramedics attend to a man injured at the scene of a suicide explosion at a restaurant near a police academy, in Mogadishu, Somalia, Nov. 17, 2020.

At least five people were killed, and eight others were injured following a suicide bombing near the main Somalia police academy in Mogadishu on Tuesday, officials said.

Government communication sources said two police officers, a military officer and two civilians were killed when a suicide bomber detonated an explosive vest outside a restaurant that is often used by members of the police academy.

Police spokesman Major Sadiiq Aden Ali confirmed the death toll to VOA Somali. Other government officials said eight others were injured.

The al-Shabab militant group claimed responsibility for the attack.

Hours earlier, The New York Times reported that President Donald Trump could withdraw U.S. troops out of Somalia under an order being circulated at the Pentagon.

Virtually all of the more than 700 troops conducting training and counterterrorism missions would leave, the paper reported. Pentagon officials have not commented on the report.

U.S. troops in Somalia provide training and advice and assistance to a unit of Somali army known as Danab (Lightning) that has been hailed as model for rebuilding the Somali army.

The U.S. also conducts airstrikes against al-Shabab, which have increased since Trump took office in 2017.

The Times report says the plan under discussion to pull out of Somalia may not apply to U.S. forces stationed in nearby Kenya and Djibouti, where American drones that carry out airstrikes in Somalia are based.

When the news of possible U.S. troop withdrawal emerged last month, Somalia's president Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo voiced his opposition to the idea. He tweeted that U.S. military support to Somalia has enabled the country to combat al-Shabab.

Farmajo called for continuous security partnership and capacity building support.