Published: Sat, June 09, 2018
Worldwide | By Myra Stephens

U.S. soldier killed, 4 others wounded in 'enemy attack' in Somalia

U.S. soldier killed, 4 others wounded in 'enemy attack' in Somalia

Trump's tweet came just a few hours after the military officially reported the Special Operations agent's death, stating that one other service member had been wounded in an enemy attack. The incident is the first known death of a USA servicemen in Africa since the ambush in Niger last October, CBS News' David Martin reported.

A USA special operations soldier was killed and four US service members were wounded Friday in an "enemy attack" in Somalia, the USA military said. The incident occurred on Friday afternoon local-time. The injured service members were medevaced to Djibouti, where US Africa Command (AFRICOM) maintains its Camp Lemonnier base.

The U.S. forces were on a patrol with Somali and Kenyan troops when they were attacked with mortars and small arms in southern Somalia, AFRICOM said. In addition, the official said one Somali soldier was injured. "The U.S. provided advice, assistance and aerial surveillance during the mission". "The overarching goal in Somalia for the Department of Defense is to help the [government] provide a safe and secure environment for the Somali population".

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. The fourth received sufficient medical care on the scene.

The coalition forces were conducting a "multi-day operation" to clear al-Shabaab - an Islamist militant group - from villages and establish a "permanent combat outpost" around 217 miles southwest of Mogadishu.

A U.S. surveillance aircraft was also flying overhead during the incident according to two U.S. officials.

Hundreds of American troops now serve in Somalia.

"My thoughts and prayers are with the families of our serviceman who was killed and his fellow servicemen who were wounded in Somolia [sic]".

In May 2017, a Navy SEAL also was killed in Somalia, marking the first combat casualty in the country since the infamous 1993 Black Hawk Down incident.

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. The US's role in AFRICOM's area of responsibility has come under heavy scrutiny following an October ambush in Niger that left four soldiers dead.

A Pentagon investigation into the Niger attack, parts of which were made public last month, found multiple failures but none that directly caused the ambush by Islamic State group-linked fighters.

During the past year, US troops in Africa have been exposed to increased risks.

"We are now far more prudent", Waldhauser said.

For several years, USA special operations troops have been on the front lines in Somalia, advising local troops in a long running campaign against the al-Qaida aligned al-Shabab group.

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