Published: Sun, June 10, 2018
Global | By Craig Ferguson

U.S. military service member killed in Somalia attack

U.S. military service member killed in Somalia attack

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. Afterward, Africa Command revisited the protection that USA troops in Africa on operations.

The incident happened Friday afternoon as U.S. service members came under mortar and small arms fire while accompanying some 800 Somali and Kenyan troops in Jubaland, Somalia, roughly 350 kilometers southwest of Mogadishu, U.S. Africa Command said in a statement.

Three of the four US service members were transferred for medical treatment while the fourth received medical care on the spot, the Washington Post reported.

Al-Shabab claimed credit for the attack, the SITE Intelligence Group said in a statement Friday.

The American forces were operating alongside Somali troops.

"We also injured four USA soldiers", Abdiasis Abu Musab, al Shabaab's military operations spokesman, told Reuters on late Friday.

Trump approved expanded military operations against al-Shabab in early 2017, leading to an increase in USA military personnel to more than 500 and the launch of dozens of drone strikes.

A military official told AFP the dead American was a special operations commando, but further details were not being released pending notification of next of kin. The group was blamed for a truck bombing in Mogadishu in October that killed more than 500 people and raised concerns about its ability to build larger explosives.

"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.

Friday's attack in Jubaland is likely to put renewed scrutiny on United States counter-terror operations in Africa.

The statement said the mission's objectives were to clear al-Shabaab from contested areas, liberate villages from al-Shabaab control, and establish a permanent outposts created to increase the span of Federal Government of Somalia security and governance.

Since being pushed out of Mogadishu in 2011, the group has lost control of most of Somalia's cities and towns, but it retains a strong presence in regions outside the capital.

A USA military report on that incident publicized by the Pentagon last month without being fully released found that multiple individual and institutional failures left the US troops vulnerable to the ambush.

An American soldier has been killed in Somalia while serving as part of an American Special Operations forces team.

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