Comment: Hmmm, interesting timing. We're not sure what to make of 'al-Shabaab' - 'legit' militia with Sudanese political interests, or an African extension of 'the Western intel terror database', aka al-Qaeda/ISIS?

The timing of this attack is certainly interesting, coming as it does when 'attacks against US troops' are the casus belli for Washington versus Iran in Iraq...

Kenyan soldier
© Stuart Price / AFP / AU-UN Ist Photo
An officer from the Kenyan Contingent of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM). October 2012.
Al-Shabaab jihadists have attacked a military base in Kenya which houses US soldiers along with local troops. The army said they managed to repulse the assault, killing four militants.

The attack was on Camp Simba naval base in Manda Bay in Lamu County on Kenya's coast, bordering Somalia.

Lamu County Commissioner Irungu Macharia told the Daily Nation local newspaper that "heavily armed" militants stormed the compound at 4am local time. Witnesses heard gunfire coming from the base.

Photos and videos circulating on social media allegedly show smoke billowing from the site.

The spokesperson for the Defense Ministry, Colonel Paul Njuguna, later said that the attackers tried to seize the Manda airstrip near the base but were repulsed. Four militants were killed, he stated, as quoted by the Standard. There were no immediate reports of casualties among the personnel at the base or civilians.

Established in 2004, Camp Simba is used by the US to train Kenyan naval units, and is believed to play an important role in American operations in Somalia and Yemen, including drone strikes.

Kenyan troops participate in the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), which is aimed at supporting the Somalian government in its fight against Al-Shabaab.

Al-Shabaab often carries out terrorist attacks in Kenya. In December, militants ambushed a bus in the northern part of the country, killing 11 people, including seven police officers. One of the bloodiest attacks happened in 2013, when the group stormed a high-end shopping mall in Nairobi, the nation's capital, killing more than 60 people, mostly civilians.