The Slatest

Al-Shabab Kills Three Americans in Attack on Kenya Military Base

A huge plume of smoke rises from a military base in a grassy area.
A military base used by U.S. troops in Lamu county, Kenya, was attacked on Sunday. Xinhua News Agency via Latin America News Agency

One U.S. military service member and two American contractors were killed in an attack by Somalia’s al-Shabab militant group. The predawn attack targeted an airstrip located on Kenya’s coast. Two other American contractors were wounded in the attack on a military base used by both U.S. and Kenyan forces near the border with Somalia.

“The wounded Americans are currently in stable condition and being evacuated,” U.S. Africa Command said in a statement. Five militants were killed, according to the Kenyan military. Witnesses said the attack by the al-Qaida-linked group lasted around four hours.

The attack on Manda Bay Airfield in Lamu county marked al-Shabab’s first attack against U.S. forces in Kenya, notes the Associated Press. Although it remains unclear how the attack unfolded, “pictures of the aftermath indicated that al-Shabab was able to detonate explosives where U.S. military equipment such as helicopters and other aircraft would have been stationed,” reports the Washington Post. Citing a report from Kenyan police, Reuters says the attackers “destroyed two planes, two U.S. helicopters and multiple American military vehicles during their assault.”

The attack came a little more than week since a truck bomb in Somalia’s capital killed at least 79 people.