US service member and 2 DoD contractors killed in Al-Shabab attack on base in Kenya
NAIROBI, Kenya - The U.S. military has confirmed one American soldier and two department of defense contractors were killed and two others hurt in Sunday's Al-Shabaab attack on Base in Manda Bay, Kenya, Garowe Online reports.
In a statement, the U.S. Africa Command said two Department of Defense members were wounded. "The wounded Americans are currently in stable condition and being evacuated," AFRICOM added.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and friends of our teammates who lost their lives today,” said U.S. Army General Stephen Townsend, commander, U.S. Africa Command.
AFRICOM said the names of the fallen and the wounded soldiers and contractors are being withheld as part of the next of kin notification process and vowed to pursue those responsible for this attack and al-Shabaab who seeks to harm Americans and U.S. interests.
"We remain committed to preventing al-Shabaab from maintaining a safe haven to plan deadly attacks against the U.S. homeland, East African and international partners," read the statement in part.
Kenyan defense forces said early in the day that five attackers have been killed with their weapons seized while five other suspects detained following the raid against the military base in Lamu county which is used by US and KDF forces.
The Al-Qaeda-linked militant group Al-Shabaab based in Somalia claimed it has briefly seized the base and inflicted huge losses on the Kenyan and American forces stationed there during the onslaught.
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.
The attack on the compound today 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. Reports indicate that six contractor-operated civilian aircraft were damaged to some degree.
The Al-Shabaab assault on Kenyan-US joint military camp comes as Iran vows to take revenge for the US drone strike that killed Qassim Suleimani who led the powerful Quds Force in Iraq capital last Friday morning.