Al Shabaab attacks military camp used by Kenya and US forces in Lamu
Lamu County Commissioner Irungu Macharia said the attack at Camp Simba in Manda island occurred around 4 to 5am.
“Yes there was an incident in the morning but we have been able to push them away,” he said, “However, we are not sure if there are still remnants within.”
The United States just spent Two Trillion Dollars on Military Equipment. We are the biggest and by far the BEST in the World! If Iran attacks an American Base, or any American, we will be sending some of that brand new beautiful equipment their way…and without hesitation!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 5, 2020
He did not provide any casualty report, only saying “a security operation is underway.”
The attack comes in the aftermath of threats for revenge following the assassination of Iranian top military general Qasem Soleimani, who was taken down by US forces in Iraq, accused of orchestrating vicious attacks targetting US citizens and interests in the Middle East.
Photos circulated online showed thick black smoke billowing from the camp with a helicopter in the background. Capital FM News has not independently verified the pictures.
As at 9am Sunday, reports said there was active shooting in or around the camp at Manda Bay.
Al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for the attack in a statement, saying they had “successfully stormed the heavily fortified military base and have now taken effective control of part of the base.”
The group said there had been both Kenyan and American casualties, however this could not be immediately verified.
Al-Shabaab said the attack was part of its “Al-Quds (Jerusalem) shall never be Judaized” campaign — a term it first used during an attack on the upscale Dusit hotel complex in Nairobi in January last year that left 21 people dead.
The Somali jihadists have staged several large-scale attacks inside Kenya, in retaliation for Nairobi sending troops into Somalia in 2011 to fight the group, as well as to target foreign interests.
Despite years of costly efforts to fight Al-Shabaab, the group on December 28 managed to detonate a vehicle packed with explosives in Mogadishu, killing 81 people.
The spate of attacks highlight the group’s resilience and capacity to inflict mass casualties at home and in the region, despite losing control of major urban areas in Somalia.
Far away in Iran, AFP reported that locals were preparing to hold celebrations after Qasem’s burial, with the Iranian Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei declaring the military general died a Martyr “whose killing must be revenged” terming the US action “an act of war.”
But US president Donald Trump who said he ordered Soleimani’s assassination has denied he was out to start a war “but stop one.”
The new development has raised tensions in the Middle East.