Kenya’s army denies soldiers hid in grass during attack

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Kenya’s military has denied to the BBC details of a New York Times article that claimed its soldiers “hid in the grass” as militants of the Islamist group al-Shabab attacked the Manda Bay military base.

One US military service member and two contractors were killed in the 5 January attack.

The base, named Camp Simba, is located in the popular coastal region of Lamu and used by Kenyan and US forces.

The New York Times article claimed that the performance of Kenyan soldiers during the attack had frustrated their American colleagues.

It also suggested that the al-Shabab militants may have benefited from information given to them by Kenyans stationed at the base.

But Kenya’s military spokesman Colonel Paul Njuguna has told the BBC that the article was not based on facts.

He said details of the attack will only be clear after a board appointed to investigate the circumstances of the attack releases its findings.

“The article is not based on any fact. The investigation is still ongoing. There is no report so far from the investigators, nothing official,” said Col Njuguna.

Kenya’s Daily Nation newspaper also quoted an unnamed senior military official who said; “Camp Simba is an American facility on Kenyan soil used for security operations. It is manned and secured by Americans.”

The source added: “What happens at the camp is confidential. To date, the Americans have remained mum on the number of personnel present at the camp during the attack. They are the ones who run the show at the base.

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