Somali attack kills U.S. soldier, hurts 4 others

Posted June 11, 2018

USA forces provided "advice, assistance and aerial surveillance during the mission." the US military said.

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

The military said earlier that four other us service members were wounded in an extremist attack in Somalia.

A US Defense official confirmed to media that four American soldiers were injured in the attack.

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Friday's joint operation, part of a multi-day mission including about 800 Somali and Kenyan troops, aimed to clear al-Shabab from contested areas.

USA troops with Somali and Kenyan forces came under mortar and small-arms fire and one "partner force member" also was wounded in the attack about 217 miles southwest of the capital, Mogadishu, the US military said. "We also injured four USA soldiers", Abdiasis Abu Musab, al-Shabaab's military operations spokesman, told Reuters late Friday.

The US casualties are the first confirmed in Somalia since May 2017 when one soldier was killed and two others wounded in a gun battle with al-Shabab west of Mogadishu.

Somali officials have said civilians have been killed in more than one joint USA military operation with Somali forces.

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The death is the first USA combat death in Africa since an ambush previous year by ISIS-aligned fighters in Niger left four US soldiers dead and prompted questions over whether American troops in the region had proper support.

In West Africa, Special Operations forces are overseen by Army Special Forces, while the Naval Special Warfare Command, often known as the Navy SEALs, leads operations in Somalia.

A Fort Bragg soldier was the special operations member who died in an attack in Somalia on Friday, the Pentagon said Saturday night.

The population in the region had historically supported the government, and the Somali forces had prepared for this mission by coordinating heavily with and securing the support of local authorities ahead of time, officials said.

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