Al-Shabaab terrorists overran a U.S. military base in Kenya on Sunday, killing three Americans.
Those killed were personnel of the U.S. Department of Defense.
The extremists also destroyed several US aircraft and vehicles before they were repelled, several newspapers reported on Sunday.
Kenyan military spokesman Paul Njuguna said five of the attackers were killed.
The attack took place on the Manda Bay airfield. It was the al-Qaida-linked group’s first attack against US forces in the East African country, and the military called the security situation “fluid” several hours after the assault.
A statement by the US Africa Command known as Africom said one US serviceman and two contractors with the US Department of Defense were killed in the fighting.
Al-Shabaab claimed there were 17 US casualties, nine Kenyan soldiers killed and seven aircraft destroyed.
The Washington Post reported that residents and tourists in the Lamu region reported seeing a plume of smoke and hearing gunfire at 3:30 a.m. that continued until midmorning.
“It was unclear exactly how the attack unfolded, but pictures of the aftermath indicated that al-Shabab was able to detonate explosives where U.S. military equipment such as helicopters and other aircraft would have been stationed,” the Washington Post said.
Reuters reported that the attackers “destroyed two planes, two U.S. helicopters and multiple American military vehicles during their assault.”