A group of militiamen attacked a base on Sunday Kenya used by troops from that country and the United States and destroyed US aircraft and vehicles, authorities said.
The attack was repelled and four of the attackers were killed, Kenyan authorities reported.
Five people were arrested in connection with the assault, Lamu County Commissioner Irungu Macharia told the AP.
The extremist al-Shabab group claimed the fact.
A witness said he had seen a thick column of black smoke emanating from the base, and that neighbors say they heard the explosion of a vehicle loaded with explosives.
The United States Military Command in Africa confirmed the attack on Simba camp in Lamu County. Spokesman Colonel Christopher Karns, however, described al-Shabab’s claims as “exaggerated” of causing heavy casualties.
There were no deaths reported by either Americans or Kenyans. In the camp there are about 100 US military according to the Pentagon.
An internal report by the Kenyan police, seen by the AP, states that two fixed-wing aircraft, one American and one Kenyan, were destroyed in addition to two US helicopters and several vehicles at the Manda Bay air base. He adds that explosions were heard there around 5:30 a.m. The evidence suggests that al-Shabab sought to “attack specific sources.”
Al-Shabab, linked to Al Qaeda, is based in neighboring Somalia and has launched several attacks in Kenya. The group has been subject to several US air strikes under the presidency of Donald Trump.
The group issued a statement on Sunday stating that it had caused casualties in the attack on the Manda Bay base, near the border with Somalia, and that it destroyed US equipment including aircraft.
However, the Kenyan authorities issued a statement stating that “the air base is safe” and that “due to the failed infiltration attempt, some fuel tanks caught fire.”
The attack occurs just a week after al-Shabab killed at least 79 people in the capital of Somalia by a truck-bomb. US attacks killed seven al-Shabab militia in retaliation.