In Somalian Militants Attack US Base In Kenya 3 Americans Killed

Members Of Somalia’s Al-Shabaab group on Sunday stormed a military base employed by US forces in Kenya’s coastal Lamu region, killing three americans and destroying several aircraft and military vehicles, officials said.
Attackers breached heavy security at Camp Simba at dawn but were pushed back, with four of them killed, said army spokesman Colonel Paul Njuguna.

The American military, however, said three US citizens died within the attack including a service member and two civilian defence contractors.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and friends of our teammates who lost their lives today,” General Stephen Townsend, the top folks Africa Command (Africom), said during a statement.

Two other US Department of Defence personnel were wounded, the statement added, without giving further details.

Al-Shabaab has launched regular cross-border raids since Kenya sent troops into Somalia in 2011 as a part of an African Union force protecting the internationally backed government — which the jihadists are trying to overthrow for quite a decade.

The Lamu region, which incorporates popular tourist beach destination Lamu Island, lies on the brink of the Somali frontier and has suffered frequent attacks, often administered with roadside bombs.

Njuguna said “an attempt was made to breach security at Manda Air Strip” at 5:30 am but it had been repulsed.

“Four terrorists’ bodies have thus far been found. The airstrip is safe,” he said, adding that a fireplace had broken out but had since been addressed .

Kenya’s military officer of Police Hilary Mutyambai said officers were “on high alert” after the attack.

An internal police report seen by AFP said two Cessna aircraft, two American helicopters and “multiple American vehicles” were destroyed at the airstrip.

Local government official Irungu Macharia said five people had been arrested near the camp and were being interrogated.

Shabaab claimed to possess killed 17 Americans and nine Kenyan soldiers after the attack.

The nearby civilian airport at Manda Bay, which brings tourists visiting Lamu Island — a UNESCO World Heritage Site — was closed for several hours after the incident, consistent with the civil aviation authority.

Al-Shabaab said during a statement it had “successfully stormed the heavily fortified military base and have now taken effective control of a part of the base”.

AFRICOM accused Al-Shabaab of lying so as to make false headlines.

Shabaab countered with a second statement, saying it had been a 10-hour firefight and mocking the US “inability to debar an attack by just a couple of steadfast Muslim men”.

The group mentioned an uptick in US military airstrikes under President Donald Trump, accusing the US of “strafing villages from above and indiscriminately bombarding innocent women and youngsters .”

AFRICOM said in April it had killed quite 800 people in 110 strikes in Somalia since April 2017.

The Somali jihadists have staged several large-scale attacks inside Kenya in retaliation for Nairobi sending troops into Somalia also on target foreign interests.

The group has been fighting to overthrow an internationally-backed government in Mogadishu since 2006, staging regular attacks on government buildings, hotels, security checkpoints and military bases within the country

Despite years of costly efforts to fight Al-Shabaab, the group on December 28 managed to detonate a vehicle full of explosives in Mogadishu, killing 81 people.

The spate of attacks highlights the group’s resilience and capacity to inflict mass casualties reception and within the region, despite losing control of major urban areas in Somalia.

In a November report, a UN panel of experts on Somalia noted an “unprecedented number” of homemade bombs and other attacks across the Kenya-Somalia border in June and July last year.

On Thursday, a minimum of three people were killed when suspected Al-Shabaab gunmen ambushed a bus travelling within the area.

According to the Institute for Security Studies, the us has 34 known military bases in Africa, from where it conducts “drone operations, training, military exercises, protest and humanitarian activities”.

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