Three Americans killed in Kenya terror attack

One US service member and two civilian contractors working for the Defense Department were killed in an attack by Al-Shabaab in Kenya. CNN's Farai Sevenzo has more.

Posted: Jan 6, 2020 12:10 PM
Updated: Jan 6, 2020 12:10 PM

Three Americans were killed in Sunday's terror attack in Kenya.

The Americans -- a US service member and two civilian contractors working for the Defense Department -- were killed in the attack carried out by Al-Shabaab, US Africa Command, which is responsible for military relations with nations on the continent, confirmed to CNN. Two DOD members wounded in the attack are now in stable condition and are being evacuated, Africa Command said.

The attack occurred at a Kenya Defense Force in Manda Bay, Kenya. Sources have previously told CNN that the base was used by US Special Operations forces working with the Kenyans.

Africa Command said the US uses the airfield for missions such as providing training to African allies, responding to crises and protecting US interests in the region.

The names of those who were killed and wounded have not been released.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and friends of our teammates who lost their lives today," US Army Gen. Stephen Townsend, commander, US Africa Command, said in a statement. "As we honor their sacrifice, let's also harden our resolve. 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."

Al-Shabaab has previously pledged allegiance to Al Qaeda.

As CNN reported earlier Sunday US and Kenyan aircraft, both rotary and fixed-wing, were damaged in the attack, Africa Command now says six contractor-operated civilian aircraft were damaged to some degree.

US authorities provided more details about the brazen attack which involved indirect and small arms fire. They said forces from Kenya Defense forces as well as those from US Africa Command fought back the attack after an initial penetration of the perimeter of the facility.

"The work that our U.S. forces are doing in East Africa bolsters partnerships, counters malign influence, and maintains critical pressure on terrorist networks," Townsend said. "Our efforts directly contribute to counterterrorism, maritime surveillance, and intelligence sharing missions with our Kenyan partners. This activity enables enhanced security and stability in the region and for America."

This story has been updated with additional developments Sunday.

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