05/01/2020- Five suspects, thought to be part of or linked to the Lamu military base attack, were arrested Sunday, soon after Al Shabaab terrorists launched a deadly attack that left aircraft and vehicles destroyed, both for the Kenyan and US forces operating from there.
Lamu County Commissioner Irungu Macharia confirmed that “Some suspects have been arrested after they were found within the vicinity of the camp. The five are being interrogated.”
Kenya Defence Forces said an attempt was made at approximately 5:30 a.m. this morning to breach security at Manda Air Strip and that it had successfully been stopped and the airstrip was safe.
Four terrorist bodies were found by a joint military manhunt staged by the KDF and their American counterparts, but there was no immediate confirmation if they were killed or blew themselves up.
“The attempted breach was successfully repulsed,” KDF Spokesman Colonel Paul Njuguna, said in a statement to newsrooms.
Photos circulated online showed thick black smoke billowing from the airstrip on Sunday morning, in what Col Njuguna said was “fire that broke out affecting some of the fuel tanks located at the airstrip.”
Al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for the attack in a statement, saying they had successfully stormed the heavily fortified military base and have now taken effective control of part of the base.
U.S. Africa Command acknowledged “there was an attack at Manda Bay Airfield, Kenya and is monitoring the situation. Al-Shabaab has claimed responsibility for the incident. As facts and details emerge, we will provide an update.”
The Command’s US Army Maj. Gen William Gayler confirmed that there was “damage to infrastructure and equipment.”
“An accountability of personnel assessment is underway,” he said, warning “the security situation in Manda Bay is fluid.”
Describing Al Shabaab as a brutal terrorist organisation, Maj Gen Gayler said, “it is an al-Qaeda affiliate seeking to establish a self-governed Islamic territory in East Africa, to remove Western influence and ideals from the region, and to further its jihadist agenda. US presence in Africa is critically important to counter-terrorism efforts.”
The attack comes in the aftermath of threats for revenge on US forces or their bases around the world following the assassination of Iranian top military general Qasem Soleimani, who was taken down by US forces in Iraq, accused of orchestrating vicious attacks targeting US citizens and interests in the Middle East.
Capital Reporter / Nairobi – Kenya
Sahel-Elite (Bamako-Mali) | Photo:Al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for the attack in a statement, saying they had “successfully stormed the heavily fortified military base/Courtesy