One US Soldier Killed, Four Injured in Attack in Somalia

10 June, 2018, 08:45 | Author: Edward Snyder
  • Somalia is the easternmost point in the Horn of Africa

The US troops quickly found themselves on the receiving end of mortar and small arms fires, and in the ensuing fighting, one American soldier was killed, and four others wounded.

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 statement does not identify the attackers but says a larger force of Somalian and Kenyan troops were conducting an operation against al-Shabab militants. The operation aimed to clear the Somalia-based extremist group al-Shabab from contested areas.

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

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

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.

That death was followed by an ugly confrontation between President Donald Trump, members of his staff and the widow of one of the soldiers killed.




In a statement Saturday, the U.S. Africa command weighed in, saying the service members were being treated in Kenya at the American embassy by medical personnel.

The U.S. had pulled out of the Horn of Africa nation after 1993, when two helicopters were shot down in Mogadishu and bodies of Americans were dragged through the streets.

Marine Corps Gen. Thomas D. Waldhauser, who heads U.S. Africa Command, said at a Pentagon press conference that he had taken steps to better ensure the safety of U.S. service members in future operations. This isn't unusual, as the Mogadishu-based government tends to have very limited practical control outside of the capital city.

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 role of USA troops during the operation was to provide aerial surveillance and to provide other assistance to the coalition group.

The October attack in Niger raised questions in Washington about the USA military presence across Africa as the Trump administration focuses counterterror efforts on a range of groups linked to al-Qaida and the Islamic State group.

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.

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