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US Africom denies KDF soldiers hid during Manda al-Shabaab attack

The US military African Command has slammed reports that Kenya Defence Forces Soldiers hid in the grass as al-Shabaab militants attacked the Manda Bay military base in Lamu.

Earlier this week, The New York Times wrote an article to the effect that KDF soldiers hid in grass as al-Shabaab militants stormed the base and destroyed several American planes and the airfield.

Three Americans including two military contractors and US Army specialist Henry Mayfield were killed during the  January 5 attack executed by al-Shabaab militants.

But in a rejoinder, the US Africa command has said the response by US and Kenyan forces to the attack was “timely and effective” and helped to “reduce the number of casualties and eliminated the potential for further damage.”

As a result, five al-Shabab fighters were killed and several dozen were repelled, it said in a statement.

Africom however acknowledged that the al-Shabab fighters “achieved a degree of success in its attack”.

“The attack at Manda Bay demonstrates that al-Shabab remains a dangerous and capable enemy,” General Stephen Townsend, US Africa Command commander, was quoted as saying

More elite soldiers have since been deployed at the base to bolster security.

The US has sent a senior military official to probe the facts and circumstances surrounding the attack.

Kenya’s military spokesman Colonel Paul Njuguna slammed the report describing the narration of events as “baseless”

Njuguna said a board had been appointed to investigate the circumstances will release the findings once the probe was complete.

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