U.S. officials said members of the militant group al-Shabaab launched an ultimately unsuccessful pre-dawn attack on Manda Bay Airfield, a Kenyan military base used by U.S. troops.
“U.S. Africa Command acknowledges there was an attack by the terrorist organization al-Shabaab at Manda Bay Airfield, Kenya, today,” officials said in a statement. “U.S Africa Command and Kenya Defense Forces repelled the al-Shabaab attack.”
Initial reports indicate equipment and infrastructure was damaged in the attack, but a deeper assessment is underway to determine whether there was any further damage, the statement added.
"Working alongside our Kenyan partners, the airfield is cleared and still in the process of being fully secured,” U.S. Africa Command added.
Al-Shabaab, an East Africa-based group with links to al Qaeda, claimed it destroyed U.S. aircraft and inflicted unspecified casualties in the attack, according to U.S. Africa Command. But U.S. officials pushed back on the claim, saying the group frequently exaggerates its successes.
“Al-Shabaab resorts to lies, coercion, and the exertion of force to bolster their reputation to create false headlines,” U.S. Army Maj. Gen. William Gayler, U.S. Africa Command director of operations, said in the statement. “It is important to counter al-Shabaab where they stand to prevent the spread of this cancer.”
The U.S. military added that the security situation at the base remains “fluid.”