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The attack was on Camp Simba naval base in Manda Bay in Lamu County on Kenya’s coast, bordering Somalia.
Lamu County Commissioner Irungu Macharia told the Daily Nation local newspaper that “heavily armed” militants stormed the compound at 4am local time. Witnesses heard gunfire coming from the base
Photos and videos circulating on social media allegedly show smoke billowing from the site.
Al-Shabaab has attacked a US military base in Lamu, Kenya.
No news on casualties etc as gunfire exchange continues pic.twitter.com/6KPPRUoacK
— Samira Sawlani (@samirasawlani) January 5, 2020
The spokesperson for the Defense Ministry, Colonel Paul Njuguna, later said that the attackers tried to seize the Manda airstrip near the base but were repulsed. Four militants were killed, he stated, as quoted by the Standard. There were no immediate reports of casualties among the personnel at the base or civilians.
BREAKING: Reports from Kenya say Al-Shabaab militants have launched a dawn attack on Kenya 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 purportedly show. pic.twitter.com/OxL8H1Qvgs
— Harun Maruf (@HarunMaruf) January 5, 2020
Established in 2004, Camp Simba is used by the US to train Kenyan naval units, and is believed to play an important role in American operations in Somalia and Yemen, including drone strikes.
Kenyan troops participate in the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), which is aimed at supporting the Somalian government in its fight against Al-Shabaab.
Al-Shabaab often carries out terrorist attacks in Kenya. In December, militants ambushed a bus in the northern part of the country, killing 11 people, including seven police officers. One of the bloodiest attacks happened in 2013, when the group stormed a high-end shopping mall in Nairobi, the nation’s capital, killing more than 60 people, mostly civilians.
Wether the attacks are related to the middle eastern tensions is yet unknown but keep a tab.
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