Al-Shabab fighters have stormed a military base in Kenya’s Lamu county used by US and Kenyan military personnel, a government official and the armed group said.
“There was an attack but they have been repulsed,” Lamu County Commissioner Irungu Macharia told AFP news agency.
It was unclear whether there were any casualties following the Sunday dawn attack by the al-Qaeda-linked group.
“The Mujahideen fighters covertly entered enemy lines, successfully stormed the heavily fortified military base and have now taken effective control of a part of the base,” al-Shabab said in a statement.
The armed group said the raid resulted in “severe casualties on both American and Kenyan troops stationed there.”
The attack sent a dark plume of smoke into the air, Abdallah Barghash, a witness told Reuters news agency. Barghash was among the crowds watching the drama unfold on Manda Island from neighbouring Lamu Island, a top tourist destination.
Al-Shabab has maintained a campaign of deadly bomb and gun attacks despite being ejected from their bases in the Somali capital, Mogadishu, and other areas years ago.
The group also carries out frequent attacks in neighbouring Kenya, which sent thousands of its troops into Somalia to fight al-Shabab.
The attack comes nearly a year after al-Shabab launched a deadly suicide attack on the upscale 14 Riverside complex in the Kenyan capital Nairobi, killing 21 people.
This week, they killed three passengers when they attacked a bus in Lamu county, police said.
Source: Al Jazeer and news agencies