The dreaded Al shabaab militants from the neighbouring Somalia on Sunday daring dawn attack at on a Kenyan-US joint military base in Lamu.
The attack follows rising tensions after America killed a top Iranian military commander, Qasem Soleimani on Friday.
On Thursday last week the militants attacked a Lamu bound bus and shot dead four passengers. The attack on Sunday was repulsed by soldiers where five attackers were killed in the fierce fire exchange at the Simba Airbase where Manda Airstrip is located.
Five militants were captured, one PK machine gun recovered, four AK47 riffles, four rocket-propelled grenades, one hand grenade and assorted ammunition.
Lamu County Commissioner Irungu Macharia said the five are being interrogated by security and agents and they are believed to be part of the team that attacked the military base.
There are no reports of American or Kenyan casualties but some escaped with injuries but a confidential report that got to the media show that two American helicopters and vehicles were destroyed during the raid.
Two Cessna aircrafts belonging to Kenya and US were also destroyed.
A reliable source at the camp reveal that a suicide bomber attempted to force his way in the camp before blowing himself just outside the gate but the rest of the attackers arrived in batches.
Al shabaab used the same bomber tactic to gain their way into Dusit hotel last January and El ade base in Somalia in 2016.
The bomber has been identified as Malik Ali alias ‘White’. The attack is believed to have been plotted by Shabaab militants who regrouped before the dawn attack. Cells of Al Qaeda militants are also believed to have been part of the attackers.
In a statement, KDF said the attack started at around 5.30am as the attackers tried to breach security at the airstrip before the bomber blew himself up.
Billowing smoke, gunfire and heavy explosions were seen and heard by residents. KDF reported that the smoke was from a fire that broke when a fuel tanker at the airstrip was hit during fire exchange.
The report also said that five shabaab bodies were found, fire has been put under control and and standard security procedures are now ongoing.
The attack was the second one in less than a week and in the same region with Al shabaab claiming responsibility. On Saturday the militants attacked a convoy at the Nyongoro area of Lamu West and claimed four innocent lives.
On the same day a resident reported seeing a group of wounded militants at Kilelengwani , near the border with Tana River.
The spoke in fluent Kiswahili and requested residents for medical attention without raising attention, about ten of them had gunshot wounds and their clothes were had blood stains.
Tension has risen in the affected areas and the residents are living under fear of possible attacks. The attacks came just two days after the US drone killed Iranian Cuds commander General Qassem Soleimani.
Soleimani was Iran’s most powerful commander and head of elite Quds Force, was killed by order from President Donald Trump of the United States of America. He was killed at the Baghdad Airport.
US VP Mike Pence said that the slain was a terrorist who plotted many attacks and Kenya was a target. Nairobi is one of Washington’s major allies in the war against terror.
Nairobi also hosts the biggest diplomatic mission in Africa and regularly collaborates with America on counter terrorism measures.
Kenya has been targeted by terror groups opposed to America and Israel since 1998 for its ties with America and Israel.
No link has been reported between the killing of Soleimani and the latest attacks in Kenya. Al shabaab is a Sunni Muslim group with no signs linking it to the Iranian Shiite or its proxies.
Nothing can be left to chance, Kenya remains on high alert as it has found itself in crosshair of attacks related to global geopolitics.