London, Jan 5 (IANS) Somalia-based, Al Qaeda-linked Islamist militant group Al Shabab on Sunday attacked a naval base used by Kenyan and US forces in Kenya’s Lamu coastal region, reports said.
While the Al Shabab claimed multiple planes and vehicles were destroyed in the attack at the Camp Simba/Manda Air Strip, the Kenyan military said that they had driven off the attackers, while the US’ Africa Command also said the attack was repulsed but the situation was “fluid”.
Gunfire was heard and plumes of black smoke seem emerge from Camp Simba early on Sunday, the BBC reported, citing witnesses.
The Kenyan military said it had driven out the insurgents from the base, killing four of them.
According to a Kenyan Defence Forces (KDF) spokesperson, “an attempt was made to breach security at Manda Air Strip” but the attack was repulsed.
A fire caused by the attack had been extinguished and the airstrip was now safe, he added.
In a statement, the US Africa Command said the security situation at the base was “fluid” and the airfield was still in the process of being “fully secured”.
“Initial reports reflect damage to infrastructure and equipment. An accountability of personnel assessment is under way,” it added.
Al-Shabab said it had “successfully stormed the heavily fortified military base” before taking “effective control of a part of the base” and the Kenyan military used warplanes to repel the attack.