At least eight people have died in a military helicopter crash in Kenya near the Somalia border, according to authorities.
Kenyan authorities said it was not immediately clear what caused the crash in the coastal district of Lamu. Security forces operate in the area to dissuade the al-Qaida-linked al-Shabab group, which is based in Somalia across the border.
The Air Force helicopter crashed while on a nighttime patrol, according to the Department of Defense (DoD).
It added that a Board of Inquiry has been constituted and dispatched to the scene to establish the cause of the crash.
Reports say all military personnel and crew on board the helicopter died.
It is estimated that at least eight persons died but the Department of Defense which said it “condole(s) with the families of the crew” did not mention how many people were killed.
Kenyan troops are also in Somalia as part of the African Union Transition Mission to assist in the fight against al-Shabab. Kenyan forces deployed to Somalia in 2011, however there are now preparations to remove the multinational forces as Somali troops take over security responsibilities.
Al-Shabab has expanded attacks in Kenya in recent months, killing dozens of people in the border region, as the rebels are under pressure from a Somali military onslaught began last year after Hassan Sheikh Mohamud was elected president in May.