3 More Americans Killed in Base Attack

Al-Shabab strikes again, this time at Camp Simba in Manda Bay, Kenya
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 5, 2020 4:01 PM CST
3 More Americans Killed in Base Attack
In this photo taken Aug. 26, 2019 and released by the U.S. Air Force, airmen from the 475th Expeditionary Air Base Squadron conduct a flag-raising ceremony, signifying the change from tactical to enduring operations, at Camp Simba, Manda Bay, Kenya.   (Staff Sgt. Lexie West/U.S. Air Force via AP)

With Iran on everyone's mind, Americans killed in Africa don't get much attention—but three were indeed killed Sunday at a military base in Kenya, NBC News reports. According to US Africa Command, al-Shabab forces attacked a base used by US troops before dawn, killing a US service member and two Department of Defense contractors. Two other DoD employees were wounded and in stable condition. Details of the raid are scant, but ABC News reports that attackers relied on indirect and small-arms fire, and civilian aircraft were damaged or destroyed. Al-Shabab claimed responsibility and said it had taken over part of the base, known as Camp Simba, but that hasn't been verified. US and Kenyan officials say the militants were repelled, per the AP.

One reporter called it a daring strike: "The base is heavily fortified and al-Shabab still managed to break through," Haru Mutasa told Al Jazeera. Al-Shabab has been pulling off deadly attacks in Kenya and Somalia for years, killing at least 79 in Somalia last week, despite increasing airstrikes by the Trump administration. In a statement, US Army Maj. Gen. William Gayler said "Al-Shabab is a brutal terrorist organization. It is an al-Qaeda affiliate seeking to establish a self-governed Islamic territory in East Africa, to remove Western influence and ideals from the region, and to further its jihadist agenda." Read more at Global Conflict Tracker, which says Al-Shabab has up to 9,000 troops. (Or read a related story about a San Diego man.)

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