Camp Simba: Three dead in attack on US military base in Kenya

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One US military service member and two contractors were killed in an Islamist attack on a military base in Kenya.

Islamist militant group al-Shabab attacked the base, used by Kenyan and US forces, in the popular coastal region of Lamu on Sunday.

The US military said in a statement that two others from the Department of Defense were wounded.

“The wounded Americans are currently in stable condition and being evacuated,” the US military’s Africa Command said.

Witnesses to the attack reported hearing gunfire and seeing plumes of black smoke emerge from Camp Simba on Manda Island.

Gen Stephen Townsend, commander of US Africa Command, added in a statement: “Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and friends of our teammates who lost their lives today.

“As we honour their sacrifice, let’s also harden our resolve. Alongside our African and international partners, we will pursue those responsible for this attack and al-Shabab, who seeks to harm Americans and US interests.”

Al-Shabab is linked to al-Qaeda and is headquartered in neighbouring Somalia.

The group has carried out a spate of attacks in the region since it was formed more than a decade ago.

On 28 December, about 80 people were killed in a bombing in Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu.

What happened at Camp Simba?

The Kenyan Defence Forces (KDF) said “an attempt was made to breach security at Manda Air Strip” but the attack was repulsed.

Four militants were killed, it added.

A fire caused by the attack had been extinguished and the airstrip was now safe, a KDF spokesman said.

A nearby airfield used for civilian flights had reopened, aviation officials said.