Members belonging to Somalia's militant group Al-Shabaab attacked a military base used by American troops in the coastal Lamu region, Kenya on December 5. According to reports, extremists killed three Americans and wrecked numerous aircraft and military vehicles. A spokesperson of the Kenyan military, Colonel Paul Njuguna said that the members of Al-Shabaab attacked the base at dawn on December 5, adding that four of the attackers were killed.
Njuguna said that the militants attempted to enter Manda Air Strip during the wee hours of December 5 but their attempts were squashed, adding that a fire had broken out but was bought under control. In addition to this, Kenya's Inspector General of Police, Hilary Mutyambai, said that all the officers were on high alert after the attack on the military base.
This morning at around 5:30 am an attempt was made to breach security at Manda Air Strip. The attempted breach was successfully repulsed. Four terrorists bodies have so far been found. The airstrip is safe.https://t.co/CXoAWBgXC4— Kenya Defence Forces (@kdfinfo) January 5, 2020
In a statement, the chief of US Africa Command (Africom), General Stephen Townsend, offered condolences on everybody's behalf to the family and friends of the American citizens who lost their lives in the attack. The statement further added that two US Department of Defence personnel had also suffered injuries. However, the US military stated that the three people who died included a services employee and two civilian defence contractors. A member of the local government, Irungu Macharia, said that five people had been taken into custody near the military camp. Macharia further added that the detainees had also been subject to interrogation.
After the attack, Al-Shabaab released a statement in which they said that they had successfully attacked the military base, adding that they had control over a large part of the base. However, Africom said that the militant group had been lying in order to create false news. In its response, Al-Shabaab said that the fight had lasted for 10 hours, mocking the US military that it could not fend off an attack orchestrated by few men.
Militant group Al-Shabaab has regularly launched attacks across the border since the time Kenya sent its soldiers to Somalia in the year 2011. The Kenyan forces were a part of the African Union force that was tasked to protect the government that had backing by the International community, which the Jihadi fighters were trying to topple for a period of more than 10 years.
(With inputs from agencies)