United States special forces soldier killed, 4 wounded in Somalia attack

Erika Holt
June 10, 2018

A USA military official confirmed the attack in the country's south, about 50 kilometers (32 miles) north of the port city of Kismayo, killed one us troop and wounded four others.

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.

Al Shabaab has claimed responsibility for an attack in which a US commando was killed and four others were wounded when they came under fire in the country. The incident occurred on Friday afternoon local-time.

AFRICOM is withholding the name of the servicemember killed in action, pending notification of next of kin.

The US military says its forces operate on an "advise and assist" mission with the Somali National Army.

The forces were also setting up "a permanent combat outpost" to help expand the Somali government's control over the region, where the jihadist insurgency for years has destabilized the east African nation, particularly in rural areas.

Witnesses said the attack took place near the town of Sanguni, while the us and Somali troops were digging trenches and setting up other defenses.

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The statement said, "The overarching goal in Somalia for the Department of Defense is provide a safe and secure environment for the Somali population".

One of the wounded United States service members got medical care in the field and the other three were medically evacuated for additional treatment. The fourth received sufficient medical care on the scene.

Friday's joint operation, part of a multi-day mission including about 800 Somali and Kenyan troops, aimed to clear al-Shabaab from contested areas. The last killing of a US service member in Somalia was in May 2017 during an operation about 40 miles (64 kilometers) west of Mogadishu. The Americans train and support Somali troops and give them intelligence information to help in their campaign against al-Shabab, in addition to helping with surveillance and airstrikes.

"My thoughts and prayers are with the families of our serviceman who was killed and his fellow servicemen who were wounded in Somolia (sic)", he tweeted.

That marked the first USA military combat death there since the infamous events of "Black Hawk Down" in 1993, when 18 American servicemen died in what is called the Battle of Mogadishu. There are an estimated 7,300 American troops around the globe conducting these special operations.

"This attack comes just as the U.S. military and the White House are reconsidering whether there should be as many special forces, not just in Somalia but in sub-Saharan Africa, because Washington is looking at trying to perhaps shore up its defences in other parts of the world where they see some sort of security threat from Russian Federation and China", she added.

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