At least eight people were killed when a military helicopter crashed in Kenya near the border with Somalia, officials said on Tuesday.
It was not immediately clear what caused the crash in Lamu County in coastal Kenya. Kenyan defense forces are operating in the region to help prevent al-Qaeda-linked extremists from the al-Sahab group, based across the border in Somalia.
The Ministry of Defense said the Air Force helicopter crashed while on a night patrol. He said that a board of inquiry has been sent to the scene.
CREWS IN TURKEY SEARCH FOR HELICOPTER WHICH CRASHED INTO LAKE WHILE FIGHTING FOREST FIRE
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Defense and police officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to reporters, said all military personnel and crew aboard the helicopter died.
Kenyan troops are also in Somalia as part of the African Union Transitional Mission in Somalia to help fight al-Shabaab. Kenyan forces were deployed to Somalia in 2011, but there are now plans to withdraw the multinational force as Somali troops take responsibility for their country’s security.
Al-Shabab has stepped up attacks in Kenya in recent months, killing dozens of people in the border region as the extremists feel pressured by a Somali military offensive that began last year.