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Three Americans among casualties of Sunday’s terror attack in Lamu

Three Americans – one military service member and two contractors – were killed during Sunday’s terror attack by Al Shabaab militant on a military base in Lamu, the US military has said.

Confirming the incident, the military’s Africa Command also said two other Americans, who work for the US Department of Defense were wounded in the attack on the Manda Bay Airfield in Lamu county.

“The wounded Americans are currently in stable condition and being evacuated,” Africa Command (AFRICOM) said in a statement.

Al Shabaab claimed responsibility for the attack on the Manda Bay Airfield saying there were 17 US casualties, nine Kenyan soldiers killed and seven aircraft destroyed.

The military base is used by both US and Kenyan forces.

“The Mujahideen fighters covertly entered enemy lines, successfully stormed the heavily fortified military base and have now taken effective control of a part of the base,” the militant group said.

However, the US Africa Command dismissed the Al Shabab claims as exaggerated and said US and Kenyan forces repelled the attackers.

BODIES OF TERRORISTS

“Al Shabaab resorts to lies, coercion, and the exertion of force to bolster their reputation to create false headlines,” said US Army Maj Gen William Gayler, US Africa Command director of operations.

Col Paul Njuguna, a Spokesman for the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF), also issued a statement Sunday saying four bodies of terrorists were found in the area where the attack happened.

The early Sunday morning attack comes days after a US airstrike killed Iran’s top military commander and Iran vowed retaliation.

Al Shabaab is a Sunni Muslim group and there is no sign of links to Shiite Iran or its proxies.

But one analyst, Rashid Abdi, in Twitter posts says the attack was well timed to signal to Iran it is open for tactical alliances.