Al-Shabaab Attack on Military Base Used by Kenya and US Forces
Camp Simba, Lamu County, Kenya: Al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for an attack on a military base used by both Kenya and the United States on January 5. Three Americans were killed, two US troops wounded. Of the three killed, one was a service member the other two were DoD contractors.
The attackers struck just before dawn on Sunday at the Manda Bay Airfield. They were able to destroy several aircraft and military vehicles before they were “repelled.”
— US AFRICOM (@USAfricaCommand) January 5, 2020
BREAKING: Al-Shabaab say they have launched a dawn attack on Kenya/US military base in Lamu County. A suicide car bomb reportedly breached the entry to Camp Simba, Manda Bay. The explosion sent plume of dark smoke into the sky.
Photos ~ Courtesy pic.twitter.com/bMNNYW2ncY
— Roncliffe Odit (@RoncliffeOdit) January 5, 2020
US AFRICOM described the security situation as ‘fluid’ several hours after the attack.
“The attack on the compound “involved indirect and small arms fire. After an initial penetration of the perimeter, Kenya Defense Forces and U.S. Africa Command repelled the al-Shabaab attack,” said the AFRICOM statement. “Reports indicate that six contractor-operated civilian aircraft were damaged to some degree. Manda Bay Airfield is utilized by U.S. forces whose missions include providing training to our African partners, responding to crises, and protecting U.S. interests in this strategically important area.”
Al-Shabab claimed that there were 17 U.S. casualties, nine Kenyan soldiers killed and seven aircraft destroyed. The U.S. Africa Command dismissed the al-Shabab claims as exaggerated and said U.S. and Kenyan forces repelled the attack.
Kenya is a key base for fighting al-Shabab, one of the world’s most resilient extremist organizations. A large plume of black smoke rose above the airfield Sunday and residents said a car bomb had exploded. Lamu county commissioner Irungu Macharia told The Associated Press that five suspects were arrested and were being interrogated.”
According to reports, two fixed-wing aircraft, a U.S. Cessna and a Kenyan one, as well as two U.S. helicopters and multiple U.S. vehicles were destroyed in the attack.
Just a little over a week ago, a truck bomb from Al-Shabaab exploded in Mogadishu, killing 79 people. US airstrikes killed 7 Al-Shabaab terrorists in retaliation.
“Launching a deliberate assault of this type against a well-defended permanent base occupied by (Kenya Defence Forces), contractors and U.S. military personnel required a great deal of planning, rehearsals, logistics and operational capability.” Andrew Franklin, U.S. Marine veteran and longtime Kenya resident.
Featured photo: Twitter of one of the fixed wing aircraft destroyed by terrorists