LAMU, Kenya, Jan. 5 (Xinhua) -- The Kenyan army said Sunday that it has successfully thwarted attempts by the Somali extremist group al-Shabab to storm an airstrip used by both Kenyan and U.S. soldiers in the coastal county of Lamu.
Kenya Defense Forces spokesman Paul Njuguna said the Manda Bay Airstrip is now safe, but noted that a fire broke out during the attack, which has affected some of the fuel tanks located at the airstrip.
Njuguna said four of the terrorists have so far been killed as damage control assessment is underway.
"The fire has been put under control and standard security procedures are now ongoing," said Njuguna in a statement.
He clarified that the attack took place on an airstrip and not a military base.
Al-Shabab has claimed responsibility for the latest attack in a statement, saying that they had successfully stormed the heavily fortified military base and effectively controlled part of the base.
The military group said there had been both Kenyan and U.S. casualties. However, this could not be immediately verified.
Sources said four aircraft belonging to both Kenya and the United States were destroyed during the incident, noting that several American vehicles at the airstrip were also destroyed.
Photos circulated online which could not be verified, showing thick black smoke billowing from the camp with a helicopter in the background.
The latest attack comes after the assassination of senior Iranian commander Qasem Soleimani, who was killed by a U.S. drone attack near the Baghdad International Airport.
On Thursday, al-Shabab militants attacked a passenger bus in Lamu County and killed four people.
Government Spokesman Cyrus Oguna has said that Thursday's incident in Lamu was an isolated one.