United States soldier killed and four wounded in terror attack in Somalia

Glen Norman
June 10, 2018

U.S. forces were offering "advice, assistance and aerial surveillance during the mission", U.S. Africa Command said, noting that the mission was created to increase the Somali government's ability to provide services to innocent civilians under al-Shabab rule.

A USA special operations forces soldier was killed and four were wounded on Friday in a gun battle against likely al-Shabaab militants in Somalia, said a us official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Friday's joint operation involved both Somali and Kenyan militaries, with the USA providing assistance and surveillance during the operation.

In a statement, the us military said on Friday one local soldier was also wounded in the attack that also involved Somali and Kenyan forces.

The operation is aimed to clear the Somalia-based extremist group al-Shabab from contested areas.

There are now about 500 United States troops in Somalia who have been there since 2013 advising local forces battling the al Qaeda affiliate al Shabaab.

It was the first known U.S. combat death in Africa since an ambush in Niger in October, the New York Times reported. "Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and friends of the service members".

Associated Press video on Friday showed Somali forces firing weapons from atop pickup trucks in a muddy rural area, and an unidentified USA soldier speaking with local residents.

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 US troops were on a training mission with local Somali and Kenyan forces when the attack occurred.

Al-Shabab, which is fighting to impose Shariah law across Somalia, was pushed out of the capital, Mogadishu, and other major urban cities more than two years ago.

Names of the soldiers have not been released while the USA notifies next of kin. The Pentagon has carefully monitored the spread of radical Islamic jihad across Africa but insisted that US troops are there to train and partner with local forces, not necessarily to fight.

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.

The US said no civilians were killed during the strikes. A Pentagon investigation of the incident produced a highly critical report.

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