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KDF To Blame For The Death Of Three Americans In Manda Bay Attack – US Army

A past attack at Manda Airport. [PHOTO/ COURTESY]

The United States Army has faulted  the Kenya Defense Forces (KDF) following the Manda Bay attack that left three Americans dead.

In a report by the New York Times, KDF are said to have caused the death of the three Americans after hiding in grass hence exposing them to the attackers.

The publication notes that while other American troops and support staff were confined in tents, less protection was left outside to battle the attackers hence making them easy target.

“Many of the local Kenyan forces, assigned to defend the base, hid in the grass while other American troops and support staff were corralled into tents, with little protection, to wait out the battle,” read the post by the publication.

Read: Manda Attack: UK Issues Travel Advisory on Kenya

The US Army suspects that the attack was planned by the help of Kenyans who worked at the camp.

“Investigators are looking at the possibility the attackers had help from Kenyan staff on the base. The performance of the Kenyan security forces during and after the battle frustrated American officials,” the article reads in part.

For instance, the article retracts the statement made by the KDF indicating that six Al Shabaab members had been caught, stating that the said turned out to be by-standers who were released afterwards.

It is reported that in the morning of the attack, contractor pilots Dustin Harrison aged 47, and Bruce Triplett aged 64, were taxiing their Beechcraft King Air 350 on Manda Bay’s tarmac and saw things believed to be animals darting across the runway.

Read Also: KCAA Re-opens Manda Airport After Al Shabaab Attack

However, they were wrong as the said animals were Al Shabaab attackers who had already gained entrance into the base’s perimeter and into the airstrip.

The aircraft was equipped with sensors and video for surveillance and upon the pilots propelling, a grenade was fired towards it hence killing the two on the spot.

“With the plane on fire, a third contractor, badly burned in the rear of the aircraft, crawled out to safety,” it states.

After the attack, the US through the directions of Commander General Stephen Townsend called for a thorough investigation on the details surrounding the attack.

“I want ground truth to assess the situation and hear from the troops to ensure they have what they need to accomplish their mission,” Townsend said.

Read Also: KDF Speaks After Al Shabaab Launched Attack On US-Kenya Military Base In Lamu

The news of Manda Bay attack broke out on January 5, 2020 with the KDF stating that the attackers had been repulsed, with four terrorists being killed on the spot, conflicting reports of the US Army.

Al Shabaab claimed responsibility of the attack and circulated a 52 minute video clip calling for an attack against all Americans.

Following the attack, the United Kingdom (UK) issued a travel advisory for its citizens against Kenya.

Through its Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), it advised its citizens against traveling to the country, and if necessary only visit some areas.

Read Also: Lamu’s Manda Airport Closed Indefinitely After Al Shabaab Attack, All Inbound and Outbound Flights Suspended

“The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advise against all but essential. Terrorists are very likely to try to carry out attacks in Kenya. There is a heightened threat of terrorism, including terrorist kidnappings, across Kenya,” the UK posted on its website.

Among the areas termed as ‘high risk’ areas included areas within 60km of the Kenya-Somali border, Garissa County and Lamu County.

Other areas are Tana River County north of the Tana river itself and within 15km of the coast from the Tana river down to the Galana (Athi-Galana-Sabaki) river.

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