Three Americans were killed and several planes destroyed early Sunday when Islamist terrorists from al-Shabaab stormed a key military base in Kenya that is used by US counterterrorism forces, accor…Jan 5th 2020 · 1 min read
January 5, 2020 | 5:31pm | Updated January 5, 2020 | 5:38pm
Three Americans were killed and several planes destroyed early Sunday when Islamist terrorists from al-Shabaab stormed a key military base in Kenya that is used by US counterterrorism forces, according to authorities.
One US service member and two Department of Defense contractors were killed in a fierce battle with extremists from the Somali-based terror group that has pledged allegiance to al-Qaeda.
Two other Americans were injured and were being evacuated in stable condition, according to the US Africa Command, or AFRICOM.
Five terrorists were eventually killed during the attack on the Manda Bay military base that started just before dawn Sunday, Kenyan military spokesman Paul Njuguna said.
US Army General Stephen Townsend said the attack would only “harden our resolve” to “pursue those responsible for this attack and al-Shabaab who seeks to harm Americans and U.S. interests.”
“We remain committed to preventing al-Shabaab from maintaining a safe haven to plan deadly attacks against the U.S. homeland, East African, and international partners.”
The attack on the compound “involved indirect and small arms fire,” AFRICOM said in a statement, before “Kenya Defense Forces and U.S. Africa Command repelled the al-Shabaab attack.”
The attack left at least six contractor-operated civilian aircraft damaged, the statement confirmed.
An internal Kenyan police report seen by the Associated Press said two fixed-wing aircraft — a US Cessna and a Kenyan one — were destroyed along with two American helicopters and multiple other vehicles.
The report said explosions were heard at around 5:30 a.m. from the direction of the airstrip.
As of Sunday afternoon, officials had not identified the dead Americans, citing an ongoing notification process for their next of kin.
Townsend said the US force’s presence in East Africa “counters malign influence, and maintains critical pressure on terrorist networks.
“Our efforts directly contribute to counterterrorism, maritime surveillance, and intelligence sharing missions with our Kenyan partners. This activity enables enhanced security and stability in the region and for America.”
Al-Shabaab was also blamed in a truck-bombing that left at least 90 people dead last week in Mogadishu, the Somali capital.
With Post wires