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09 June 2018, 03:14 | Devin Moran
US military service member killed in Somalia attack
At least one U.S. special forces solider was killed and four USA service members were wounded after an enemy attack in Somalia.
U.S. Africa Command said in a statement that U.S. troops with Somalian and Kenyan forces came under mortar and small-arms fire Friday in Jubaland, Somalia, at around 2.45 p.m. local time.
Friday's incident marked the first time a US service member has died in action in Somalia since Navy SEAL Kyle Milliken, a senior chief petty officer, was killed in May of previous year in a firefight with al-Shabab militants.
The 800-person Somali and Kenyan forces had been conducting a multi-day operation about 350 kilometers southwest of Mogadishu to clear al Shabaab from contested areas, liberate villages from the terrorist group and establish a permanent combat outpost to increase the reach of the Somali government, according to the Africom statement.
The American forces were operating alongside Somali troops. Since the Niger ambush, Special Forces teams have had their hands tied and wings clipped according to SOFREP sources who stated that they were hardly able to leave their bases anymore.
One US service member received medical treatment in the field while the three other wounded service members were evacuated, the statement said.
The United States has about 500 troops in the country, according to U.S. officials, many of them special operations soliders such as Navy SEALs and U.S. Army Green Berets.
The role of U.S. troops during the operation was to provide aerial surveillance and to provide other assistance to the coalition group.
On Monday, the USA military said it killed 49 members of al-Shabaab in three separate airstrike over a period of 12 days.
The firefight marks the second deadly incident for USA troops in Africa since October 4, 2017, when four US service members were killed during an ambush by ISIS fighters in Niger. "In coordination with the Federal Government of Somalia we will continue to degrade the functional networks of ISIS in Somalia and al-Shabaab as these groups pose a direct threat to Americans, our allies, and interests in the region".
A US Department of Defense (DoD) representative confirmed to AFP that one American soldier was killed and four were wounded.
Since 2007, Al-Shabaab has been fighting to overthrow the internationally backed government in Somalia.
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