One American military service member and two Department of Defense (DOD) contractors have been killed in an attack on a Kenyan base used by US troops.
The Somalia-based al-Shabab terrorist group claimed the responsibility for the Sunday attack which also left two other DOD members wounded, according to the US military command for Africa (AFRICOM).
The names of the fallen are being withheld pending notification of next of kin, AFRICOM noted.
Meanwhile, Kenya’s army spokesman Colonel Paul Njuguna, in a statement, described as abortive the attempt “to breach security at Manda Air Strip,” located on Kenya’s coast near the border with Somalia.
“The airstrip is safe. Arising from the unsuccessful breach a fire broke out affecting some of the fuel tanks located at the airstrip,” he said.
Al-Shabab fighters stormed the base, using indirect and small-arms fire, according to AFRICOM.
The fighters overran the base, but after an initial penetration of the perimeter, Kenyan and US forces repelled the militants, AFRICOM said.
Al-Shabaab said in a statement that “seven aircraft and three military vehicles were destroyed in the attack.”
The terror group later posted photos of the aircraft ablaze and an al-Shabaab militant standing nearby.
The al-Qaeda-linked militants have been waging an insurgency for more than decade in neighboring Somalia.
In September, they launched two separate attacks on a US military base and a European Union military convoy in the country.
In 2011, the terrorist group was pushed out of Somalia’s capital city with the help of African Union forces.
However, al-Shabaab still wields power in rural areas across the country, and every now and then launches deadly terrorist attacks against government, military, and civilian targets in the capital, as well as regional towns.
Al-Shabaab militants have fought successive Somali governments as well as neighboring governments in Kenya and Uganda.
Somalia has faced instability and violence since 1991, when the military government was overthrown.