Somali Jihadists Kill Three Americans In Attack On Kenyan Military Base

 

Attackers breached heavy security at Camp Simba at dawn but were pushed back and four jihadists killed, said army spokesman Colonel Paul Njuguna.

The American military, however, said three US citizens died in the attack including a service member and two civilian defence contractors.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and friends of our teammates who lost their lives today,” General Stephen Townsend, the head of US Africa Command (Africom), said in a statement.

Two other US Department of Defence personnel were wounded, the statement added, without giving further details.

Al-Shabaab has launched regular cross-border raids since Kenya sent troops into Somalia in 2011 as part of an African Union force protecting the internationally-backed government – which the jihadists have been trying to overthrow for more than a decade.

The Lamu region, which includes popular tourist beach destination Lamu Island, lies close to the Somali frontier and has suffered frequent attacks, often carried out with roadside bombs.

Njuguna said “an attempt was made to breach security at Manda Air Strip” at 5:30 am but it was repulsed.

“Four terrorists’ bodies have so far been found. The airstrip is safe,” he said, adding that a fire had broken out but had since been dealt with.

Kenya’s Inspector General of Police Hilary Mutyambai said officers were “on high alert” after the attack.

Al-Shabaab ‘Lying’

An internal police report seen by AFP said two Cessna aircraft, two American helicopters and “multiple American vehicles” were destroyed at the airstrip.

Local government official Irungu Macharia said five people had been arrested near the camp and were being interrogated.

Shabaab claimed to have killed 17 Americans and nine Kenyan soldiers after the attack.

The nearby civilian airport at Manda Bay, which brings tourists visiting Lamu Island — a UNESCO World Heritage Site — was closed for several hours after the incident, according to the civil aviation authority.

Al-Shabaab said in a statement it had “successfully stormed the heavily fortified military base and have now taken effective control of part of the base”.

AFRICOM accused Al-Shabaab of lying in order to create false headlines.

Shabaab countered with a second statement, saying it had been a 10-hour firefight and mocking the US “inability to fend off an attack by just a handful of steadfast Muslim men”.

The group referred to an uptick in US military airstrikes under President Donald Trump, accusing the US of “strafing villages from above and indiscriminately bombarding innocent women and children.”

AFRICOM said in April it had killed more than 800 people in 110 strikes in Somalia since April 2017.

US Military Network

The Somali jihadists have staged several large-scale attacks inside Kenya in retaliation for Nairobi sending troops into Somalia as well as to target foreign interests.

The group has been fighting to overthrow an internationally-backed government in Mogadishu since 2006, staging regular attacks on government buildings, hotels, security checkpoints and military bases in the country

Despite years of costly efforts to fight Al-Shabaab, the group on December 28 managed to detonate a vehicle packed with explosives in Mogadishu, killing 81 people.

The spate of attacks highlights the group’s resilience and capacity to inflict mass casualties at home and in the region, despite losing control of major urban areas in Somalia.

In a November report, a UN panel of experts on Somalia noted an “unprecedented number” of homemade bombs and other attacks across the Kenya-Somalia border in June and July last year.

On Thursday, at least three people were killed when suspected Al-Shabaab gunmen ambushed a bus travelling in the area.

According to the Institute for Security Studies, the United States has 34 known military bases in Africa, from where it conducts “drone operations, training, military exercises, direct action and humanitarian activities”.

Al-Shabaab Militants Attack Military Base Used By US And Kenya Forces

 

Jihadists from Somalia’s Al-Shabaab group on Sunday attacked a military base used by US and Kenyan forces in Kenya’s coastal Lamu region, a government official said.

“There was an attack but they have been repulsed,” Lamu Commissioner Irungu Macharia told AFP.

He said the attack took place before dawn at the base known as Camp Simba, and that “a security operation is ongoing”, without saying if there had been casualties.

“We are not sure if there are still remnants within,” he said.

READ ALSO: Soleimani: Trump Threatens To Hit Iran’s 52 Sites If They Retaliate

Al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for the attack in a statement, saying they had “successfully stormed the heavily fortified military base and have now taken effective control of part of the base.”

The group said there had been both Kenyan and American casualties; however this could not be immediately verified.

Al-Shabaab said the attack was part of its “Al-Quds (Jerusalem) shall never be Judaized” campaign — a term it first used during an attack on the upscale Dusit hotel complex in Nairobi in January last year that left 21 people dead.

The Somali jihadists have staged several large-scale attacks inside Kenya, in retaliation for Nairobi sending troops into Somalia in 2011 to fight the group, as well as to target foreign interests.

Despite years of costly efforts to fight Al-Shabaab, the group on December 28 managed to detonate a vehicle packed with explosives in Mogadishu, killing 81 people.

The spate of attacks highlights the group’s resilience and capacity to inflict mass casualties at home and in the region, despite losing control of major urban areas in Somalia.

AFP

10 Afghan Soldiers Killed In Taliban Attack On Military Base

This photo taken on November 27, 2019 shows an Afghan soldier walking by the ruins of Soviet-era buildings on the outskirts of Herat province. 
HOSHANG HASHIMI / AFP

 

Ten Afghan soldiers were killed in a Taliban attack on a military base in the southern province of Helmand on Saturday, officials said.

The Taliban dug a tunnel into the base in volatile Sangin district and then blew it up before their fighters could attack the compound, Nawab Zadran a spokesman for 215 Maiwand Army Corps in southern Afghanistan told AFP.

“There were 18 soldiers in the base at the time of the attack providing security for the people of Sangin. Four soldiers were wounded and four repelled the Taliban attack bravely,” he said.

READ ALSO: Update: Car Bomb Leaves At Least 76 Dead In Somali Capital Mogadishu

Provincial spokesman Omar Zawak confirmed the attack and said the soldiers were killed by the powerful blast inside the base.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid in a statement sent to media claimed responsibility for the attack.

The attack in Helmand comes as local and international forces brace for another deadly winter amid US-Taliban talks to end the violence in Afghanistan.

On Tuesday, seven Afghan soldiers were killed in a Taliban attack on a base in the northern province of Balkh.

Winter once marked a slowdown in the so-called “fighting season”, with Taliban fighters returning to their villages while snow and ice made attacks more difficult to pull off.

But in recent years, the distinction between seasons has all but vanished.

Deadly violence continues to grip Afghanistan even as the US and the Taliban negotiate on-off talks aimed at reducing America’s military footprint in the country in return for the insurgents ensuring an improved security situation.

AFP

Bolsonaro Considers Hosting US Military Base In Brazil

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (C) meeting with Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro (L) at the Planalto Palace in Brasilia, on January 2, 2019.  Marcos CORREA / Brazilian Presidency / AFP

 

Brazil’s new far-right President Jair Bolsonaro said Thursday he was open to discussing his country hosting a US military base “in the future,” underlining his stated desire for closer ties with America.

“Depending on what might happen in the world, who knows if we might have to talk about that subject in the future,” the 63-year-old former paratrooper, who took office this week, told SBT television.

“The physical issue of it might be just symbolic. Currently, American, Chinese, Russian armed forces manage to project themselves all around the world without bases,” he added.

Bolsonaro has pledged a new direction for Brazil, away from its years of centrist and leftist politics that sought an independent path from the United States, which played a preponderant role in Latin America during the Cold War.

He told US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday that their two countries now “are friends,” and has aligned himself with Washington by expressing hostility to Chinese investment in Brazil, and against the “authoritarian regimes” of leftist-ruled Venezuela, Cuba and Nicaragua.

In the interview — his first since becoming the leader of Latin America’s biggest economy — Bolsonaro said he was “concerned” about Russian air force participation in military drills in Venezuela in early December.

“We know what the intentions of the government of (Venezuelan President Nicolas) Maduro are. Brazil must be concerned about that,” he said.

He added: “My move toward the United States is economic, but it could be military as well. We could sign an accord in that area. We don’t want to be a superpower in South America, but to my way of thinking we should have supremacy.”

Bolsonaro, who has expressed nostalgia for the 1964-1985 military dictatorship that ruled Brazil with the approval of the United States, said that the country’s armed forces had been “abandoned” over the past two decades because “they are the last obstacle to socialism.”

The new president has vowed to eradicate the centrist and leftist politics of previous governments, especially those of the Workers Party that governed between 2003 and 2016.

Venezuela’s president regularly accuses the United States of fomenting unrest against his socialist government. He recently alleged that the US was plotting armed incidents on Venezuela’s borders with Brazil and Colombia to provide a pretext for military intervention.

AFP

Army Confirms Boko Haram Attack On Base, Says No Soldier Missing

Army Confirms Boko Haram Attack On Base, Says No Soldier Missing
File

 

The Nigerian Army has confirmed an attack on a military base by suspected members of the Boko Haram sect in Yobe State, North-East Nigeria.

Director of Army Public Relations, Brigadier General Texas Chukwu, revealed this in a statement on Monday.

He, however, condemned the reports that at least 600 soldiers were missing after the insurgents overran the base.

Brigadier General Chukwu also faulted claims that about 100 of the troops that disappeared from the base in Jilli after the clash, reported in Geidam town while very few of them had their weapons with them.

He stated categorically that the reports were not only far from the truth, but also capable of misleading the public.

The Army spokesman informed Nigerians that the soldiers promptly repelled the attack while none of them was dead or missing.

“Contrary to the report, the Army wishes to state that, although the base was attacked by suspected Boko Haram insurgents, troops reorganised and successfully repelled the attack and normalcy has since returned to the area. Also, all the troops in the base were accounted for contrary to the report,” he said.

Consequently, the Brigadier General insisted that the fight against Boko Haram terrorists in the insurgency troubled region of the country was yielding positive results.

According to him, this made some Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) who fled in the heat of the insurgency to return to their ancestral homes.

The Army spokesman advised members of the public, particularly residents of the affected areas to go about their legitimate businesses.

He also asked them to disregard the said report, assuring them that the Nigerian Army would continue to protect the lives and property of citizens at all times.