Three US Nationals including one U.S. military service member and two contractors were killed in an al-Shabaab attack on a military base in Kenya coastal region, US military confirmed.
According to a statement, US military’s Africa Command, two others who work for the U.S. Department of Defense were also wounded in the attack on the Manda Bay Airfield in Lamu county.
“The wounded Americans are currently in stable condition and being evacuated,” Africa Command (AFRICOM) said in a statement.
AFRICOM said fewer than 150 U.S. personnel had been at the base, where they provided training and counterterrorism support to East African forces.
“Alongside our African and international partners, we will pursue those responsible for this attack,” said U.S. Army General Stephen Townsend, who leads Africa Command.
During the attack, al-Shabaab reportedly destroyed several U.S. aircraft and a number of vehicles.
In a statement, al-Shabab claimed responsibility for the pre-dawn attack Sunday. It says it has taken over part of the base, killing 17 Americans and nine Kenyans — a move AFRICOM termed exaggerated.
The airbase is in the coastal town of Lamu. Witnesses report hearing loud explosions in the middle of the night and seeing huge plumes of smoke rising from the area.
U.S. forces provide counterterrorism training to troops in East Africa.