Al-Shabaab Storm Manda Bay Airfield in Lamu

  • UPDATE: KDF released a statement confirming that four terrorists had been killed.

    Latest reports reveal that Somali-based extremist group Al-Shabaab has attacked the Kenya Navy camp in Manda Bay, which is also home to US marines, on Sunday, January 5, 2020.

    The group is reported to have attacked the airstrip at Manda Bay, targeting US aircrafts.

    An aerial view of a Landing Craft Air Cushion (LCAC 63) heading towards Manda Bay Kenyan Naval training area in Kenya, Africa

    Speaking to Kenyans.co.ke, a KDF sergeant who wished to maintain anonymity revealed that the attack began at 4 a.m on Sunday and lasted for around 4 hours.

    The US aircrafts that were parked at the base were attacked using Rocket Propelled Grenades (RPG) owned by the extremist group.

    According to an eyewitness - Martin Makugo, US helicopter 50 air calvaries had been dispatched and were seen firing at the extremist group, who are reported to have retreated towards the Mokowe area.

    In a statement sent out by the Al-Shabaab, their fighters allegedly inflicted severe casualties on both US and Kenyan troops, destroyed US military aircraft and vehicles.

    The Kenya Defense Forces released a statement in response to the attack that read,

    ''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 terrorist bodies have so far been found. The airstrip is safe. 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.''

    According to an internal Kenyan police report seen by AP news agency the damaged property included 2 fixed-wing aircrafts, a US Cessna and a Kenyan one,were destroyed in the attack. Two US helicopters and multiple US vehicles also destroyed, according to the police report.

    The US government through a spokesperson for U.S. Africa Command said in a statement provided to ABC News that ,“U.S. Africa Command acknowledges there was an attack at Manda Bay Airfield, Kenya and is monitoring the situation,”

    This follows an attack that saw 10 people lose their lives, when a bus plying the Mombasa-Lamu route was on Thursday, January 2, reported to have been hijacked along Nyongoro area of Lamu County. 

    The Authorities at the coast reported that four suspected Al-Shabaab militants were involved in the attack on the passenger bus. However, the authorities claimed to have neutralised, with one being captured alive by the Kenya Defence forces.

    On Tuesday, December 31, 2019, the US Federal Aviation Administration had issued an air travel advisory for all US registered aircraft flying above the Kenyan Airspace due to what it termed as extremist militia activity.

    Images from the scene of attack in Manda Bay where al-shabaab had attacked US aircrafts on Sunday, January 5,2020