Four Shabaab fighters die in Lamu base attack

Wednesday March 18 2020
attack

Armed terrorists invaded the Magogoni-Naval base in Lamu County on January 5, 2020. PHOTO | COURTESY

By KALUME KAZUNGU

The Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) says four al-Shabaab fighters died following a dawn attack on the Manda-Magogoni naval base in Lamu County on Sunday.

The attack comes just a week after the US said it carried out airstrikes in Somalia that killed four Shabaab terrorists following a massive car bomb that killed 79 people in Mogadishu recently.

The Kenyan military says there were no casualties on either the Kenyan or US sides following the dawn attack in Lamu.

The militants had launched a 5 am attack on Manda Airstrip, which is next to Camp Simba -- a Kenyan naval base with a US military presence.

The Shabaab fighters were attempting to gain entry to the military base via the airstrip.

Lamu County Commissioner Irungu Macharia also confirmed the attack.

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The Somalia-based terror group has claimed the attack.

KDF aircraft responded with some bombs and later, in a statement, said the attack was foiled by its soldiers.

Locals also told the Nation that gunfire had ended in the area.

"This morning at around 5.30 am, an attempt was made to breach security at Manda Airstrip. The attempted breach was successfully repulsed. Four terrorists bodies have so far been found. The airstrip is safe," KDF Spokesperson Col Paul Njuguna said.

"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 ongoing."

The Shabaab militants reportedly came from Hindi area. They are said to have disconnected power before launching their attack.

There was a power outage in Hindi on Sunday morning.

INCREASED ATTACKS

The terror group has escalated its attacks on Kenya in recent months. Shabaab militants on Thursday attacked a bus at Nyongoro area, Lamu County, with three people losing their lives in the incident.

The bus had come from Mombasa and was headed to Lamu. KDF soldiers killed four suspected al-Shabaab fighters and captured one after the attack.

Before that, at least 10 people, including police officers,

were killed when the terrorists attacked a bus in Wajir County using an improvised explosive device (IED) in Kotulo area on December 7.

The militants also kidnapped two businessmen on December 26 in Liboi area along the Kenya-Somalia border. The businessmen were freed on December 27, with police saying they were looking for the attackers.

Al-Shabaab's deadliest recent attack was a car bomb that claimed the lives of 79 people in Mogadishu, Somalia, on December 28.