The Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) has re-opened Manda Aiport located in Lamu County after it was indefinitely closed on Sunday morning following an attack by Al Shabaab militants.
In a statement on Sunday afternoon, Captain Gilbert Kibe, KCAA Director General, stated that this is to allow normal operations to resume.
“Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) wishes to notify aviation stakeholders and members of the public that after the early morning incident in Lamu County, the temporary closure of Lamu Civilian Airstrip operated by Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) has been lifted allowing for normal operations to resume, ” said Kibe.
Press statement: Lamu civilian airstrip now open pic.twitter.com/DbmyntAGkO
— Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (@CAA_Kenya) January 5, 2020
Some of the airlines that confirmed cancellation of their flights after closure of the airport include Fly540 and Fly Skyward Express.
The airstrip is just next “Camp Simba” naval base that hosts US and Kenyan military troops.
Earlier, a military source told Reuters that the militants were trying to access the base from the airstrip.
The Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) said in a statement that the terrorist attack was repulsed with four gunmen being killed.
“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,” said KDF Spokesman Paul Njuguna.
Police have also arrested five people in connection with the attack and are being interrogated.
Al Shabab through its affiliate media claimed responsibility saying its fighters “partially seized & destroyed” the camp, inflicted “severe casualties” on the troops.