Al Shabaab militants on Sunday morning attacked Manda-Magogoni naval base in Lamu County.
The base known as “Camp Simba” hosts both US and Kenyan forces.
“They have attacked Manda airstrip in Lamu, which is just next to the military camp that hosts military personnel from many countries including Kenya and the U.S.,” a military source told Reuters.
The source said the fighters were trying to access the base from the airstrip.
Lamu County Commissioner Irungu Macharia confirmed the incident saying the militants invaded the camp at around 4 a.m adding that Kenyan security teams have responded to the scene.
“It’s true. There is an attack by suspected Al-Shabaab militants at Manda-Mahogoni Naval base…KDF (Kenya Defence Forces) are dealing with the criminals who invaded the camp since 4 am today, ” he said.
In a statement, KDF said the attack was foiled by its soldiers.
“This morning at around 5:30 am an attempt was made to breach security at Manda Air Strip. The attempted breach was successfully repulsed. Four terrorists bodies have so far been found. The airstrip is safe,” KDF said through its social media handles.
This morning at around 5:30 am an attempt was made to breach security at Manda Air Strip. The attempted breach was successfully repulsed. Four terrorists bodies have so far been found. The airstrip is safe.https://t.co/CXoAWBgXC4
— Kenya Defence Forces (@kdfinfo) January 5, 2020
Reports indicate that the militants came from Hindi area. They disconnected power before launching the attack.
Locals said there was heavy exchange of fire. However, it has since stopped.
Al Shabab through its affiliate media claimed responsibility saying its fighters “partially seized & destroyed” the camp, inflicted “severe casualties” on the troops.
By the time of publishing, there were no details on casualties.
The attack comes just days after Al Shabaab fighters hijacked a Lamu-bound bus at Nyongoro area within Lamu County.
Three people were killed and three others injured during the incident.
Kenyan security teams deployed in the area confirmed that four gunmen were shot dead and one captured alive.
Lamu is notorious for such attacks with the militants hiding in Boni forest when confronted by local security teams.