Somali-based militia group al-Shabaab have attacked the Kenya Navy camp in Manda Bay, which is also home to US marines, Camp Simba on Sunday, January 5, 2019.
The group is reported to have attacked the airstrip, targeting US aircraft. Speaking to Kenyans.co.ke, a KDF sergeant who wished to maintain anonymity revealed that the attack began at 4 a.m on Sunday and lasted for around 4 hours.
The US aircrafts that were parked at the base were attacked using Rocket Propelled Grenades (RPG), however, no deaths have been reported so far.
According to an eyewitness – Martin Makugo, US helicopter 50 air calvaries had been dispatched and were seen firing at the militia group, who are reported to have retreated towards the Mokowe area.
In a statement sent out by the Al-Shabaab, their fighters allegedly inflicted severe casualties on both US and Kenyan troops, destroyed US military aircraft and vehicles.
The Kenya Defense Forces released a statement in response to the attack that read,
”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. Arising from the unsuccessful breach a fire broke out affecting some of the fuel tanks located at the airstrip. The fire has been put under control and standard security procedures are now on-going.”
This follows an attack that saw 10 people lose their lives, when a bus plying the Mombasa- Lamu route was on Thursday, January 2, reported to have been hijacked along Nyongoro area of Lamu County.
The Authorities at the coast reported that four suspected Al-Shabaab militants were involved in the attack on the passenger bus. However, the authorities claimed to have neutralised, with one being captured alive by the Kenya Defence forces.
On Tuesday, December 31, 2019, the US Federal Aviation Administration had issued an air travel advisory for all US registered aircraft flying above the Kenyan Airspace due to what it termed as extremist militia activity.