Published: Sun, June 10, 2018
Global | By Enrique Rogers

US Soldier Killed, 4 Wounded in Attack in Somalia

US Soldier Killed, 4 Wounded in Attack in Somalia

It was the first public announcement of a us military combat death on the African continent since four USA service members were killed in a militant ambush in Niger in October.

The attack marks the first known combat death of a USA service member in African since the October 4 ambush of United States and Nigerian forces which killed four U.S. troops and five Nigerians.

The statement does not identify the attackers but says a larger force of Somalian and Kenyan troops were in an operation against al-Shabab.

The U.S. Africa Command reported killing 27 al-Shabaab terrorists Saturday, and in 2014 the U.S. said it killed the group's leader Ahmed Abdi Godane in a drone strike.

The coalition force was conducting a "multi-day operation" to clear al-Shabaab, an Islamist militant group, from nearby villages.

The combat occurred as American forces and Somali troops at a small outpost came under mortar and gunfire, the New York Times reports, according to three Department of Defense officials. "Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and friends of the service members".

President Donald J. Trump issued his condolences to the American soldier who lost his life on Friday. A U.S. Africa Command statement said the four were in the care of the U.S. Embassy medical team in neighboring Kenya.

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The U.S. had pulled out of the Horn of Africa nation after 1993, when two helicopters were shot down in Mogadishu and bodies of Americans were dragged through the streets.

The Pentagon didn't identify the US commando who was killed, pending notification of next of kin. This isn't unusual, as the Mogadishu-based government tends to have very limited practical control outside of the capital city.

Al-Shabaab is fighting to overthrow Somalia's central government and establish its own rule based on its interpretation of Islamic law.

The U.S. military and others have expressed concern about the 21,000-strong AU force's plan to withdraw by 2020 and hand over security responsibilities to Somali forces, saying the local troops are not ready.

US military operations in Africa have come under greater scrutiny since an October 4 ambush by Islamic State militants in the West African country of Niger left four USA soldiers dead.

Mostly composed of special operators such as Army Green Berets, Navy SEALs and Marine Raiders, the U.S. forces in Somalia have conducted frequent raids and drone strikes on Shabaab training camps throughout Somalia.

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