First Black US Defense Secretary Orders Review of Deadly 2020 Manda Bay Attack in Kenya

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Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin on Monday ordered an Army review of an investigation into a January 2020 militant assault on the Manda Bay military base in Kenya that killed three Americans and wounded three others.

In a written statement announcing Austin’s decision, his press secretary, John Kirby, did not pinpoint what Austin found lacking in the initial investigation, which was conducted by US Africa Command

Austin, who is in Berlin plans to meet with Africa Command officials Tuesday in Stuttgart, Germany, as part of a broader tour of Europe to consult with allies and talk to U.S. commanders.

The attack by al-Shabab militants at the Manda Bay base destroyed six aircraft in addition to killing three Americans and wounding three others. The predawn assault triggered a lengthy firefight and daylong struggle for U.S. and Kenyan forces to search and secure the base.

The initial phase of the assault came near dawn, when 20 to 30 al-Shabab militants slipped through the forest and fired rocket-propelled grenades onto the airfield at the base. The opening rounds of grenades quickly killed a soldier in a truck and wounded another, and killed two contractors in an aircraft and wounded one other. About a mile down the road, other militants fired on Camp Simba, a section of the base where U.S. forces are stationed.

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