A U.S. service member and two Defense Department contractors have been confirmed killed as a result of a pre-dawn attack by Al-Shabaab militants in Kenya, Sunday morning.
The U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) confirmed the three Americans killed in the attack in a Sunday press release. An additional two Defense Department contractors were also wounded in the attack. The attack occurred at the Manda Air Strip at Camp Simba, in Kenya.
Names of the fallen are being withheld pending the completion of next of kin notifications.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and friends of our teammates who lost their lives today,” said U.S. Army General Stephen Townsend, commander, U.S. Africa Command. “As we honor their sacrifice, let’s also harden our resolve.”
Townsend continued, “Alongside our African and international partners, we will pursue those responsible for this attack and al-Shabaab who seeks to harm Americans and U.S. interests. We remain committed to preventing al-Shabaab from maintaining a safe haven to plan deadly attacks against the U.S. homeland, East African, and international partners.”
The attack reportedly involved both small arms fire and indirect fire from the al-Shabaab attackers.
At least six contractor-operated civilian aircraft were also reported damaged, raising the number of aircraft damaged from the previously estimated two aircraft and two U.S. helicopters.
The al-Shabaab terror group has ties to al-Qaeda and has been active in recent weeks, having carried out a bombing in Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia.