Airstrip closed as Al-Shabaab militants attack US military base

Airstrip closed as Al-Shabaab militants attack US military base

Kenya’s Manda airstrip has been closed indefinitely following a dawn terror attack by al-Shabab militants early Sunday.

The Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) has also suspended all inbound and outbound flights to the airstrip located near the military base used by both Kenyan and U.S. forces.

Private airlines using the airstrip including Fly 540 and Fly Skyward Express have confirmed cancellations of their flights to the coastal region.

The development comes hours after the al-Qaida allied terrorist group, al-Shabab launched a daring attack on the airfield which is used by American and Kenyan forces in Lamu County.

The U.S. military has confirmed that there has been a terror attack on a military base at an airstrip that houses some U.S. forces.

“U.S. Africa Command acknowledges there was an attack at Manda Bay Airfield,” said a spokesperson for U.S. Africa Command in a statement.

Meanwhile, Al-Shabaab has claimed its fighters attacked a US-Kenya military base in Kenya’s coastal Lamu region early today.

The strike on the base known as Camp Simba in Manda Bay is the latest by the group in Kenya since Nairobi sent troops across the border in 2011.

Kenya’s army spokesman Colonel Paul Njuguna confirmed in a statement that at 5:30am “an attempt was made to breach security at Manda Air Strip.”

“The attempted breach was successfully repulsed. Four terrorists’ 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.”

He said the fire had been brought under control “and standard security procedures are now on-going.”

Lamu County Commissioner Irungu Macharia also confirmed there had been an attack and said the militants “have been repulsed.”

“We are not sure if there are still remnants within,” he said.

Kenya’s Defence Forces also said the militia group attempted to breach security at the airstrip – They were neutralised and four of them were killed during the early morning attack.

Al-Shabaab, however issued a statement claiming it killed several soldiers and destroyed military equipment.

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