US military dismisses Al Shabaab’s exaggeration of Lamu terror attack
The Sunday attack at Manda Bay Airfield in Lamu by suspected Al Shabaab Militants was exaggerated, the US military has said.
Earlier, Al Shabaab said in a statement the raid resulted in “severe casualties on both Kenyan and American troops stationed there.”
“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 armed group said.
The US military command for Africa, AFRICOM, however, dismissed the group’s statement, arguing that the message was distorted to bring out the wrong impression.
“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
The group had also claimed that it seized part of the military base temporary, and that fighting was still ongoing.
A statement by the US Africa Command, however, noted that the airfield has been cleared and the process of securing it is going on.
“The security situation at Manda Bay is fluid. Al Shabaab is a terrorist group that has repeatedly communicated an intent to attack US interests. It is important to counter Al Shabaab where they stand to prevent the spread of this cancer,” said Gayler.
US Africa Command further noted that a detailed update will be issued after the accountability of personnel is completed.
The Kenya Defense force(KDF) also confirmed the early morning attack but said the attempted breach was successfully repulsed.
They also confirmed that four bodies of terrorist bodies were recovered and there was a fire that broke out during the attack.
“Arising from the unsuccessful breach a fire broke out affecting some of the fuel tanks located at the airstrip. The fire has been put under control and standard security procedures are now on-going,” KDF said in a statement on Twitter.
Manda Bay is an area where US forces provide training and counter-terrorism support to East African partners.
At the same time, Lamu county commissioner Irungu Macharia has confirmed that five people have been arrested in connection with the dawn attack.