One US Soldier Killed, Four Wounded in Somalia Fight Against al-Shabaab

One US Soldier Killed, Four Wounded in Somalia Fight Against al-Shabaab

A US Department of Defense (DoD) representative confirmed to AFP that one American soldier was killed and four were wounded.

The combined force "came under mortar and small-arms fire at approximately 2:45 p.m. Mogadishu time, killing one U.S. service member and injuring four other U.S. service members and one partner force member", a statement from the U.S. Africa Command said.

One member of the "partner forces" was wounded.

The three wounded USA service members and the Kenyan soldier were evacuated by military aircraft and the United States troops are in "stable condition", receiving medical care outside of Somalia, according to one U.S. military official familiar with the operation.

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The coalition force was conducting a "multi-day operation" to clear al-Shabaab, an Islamist militant group, from nearby villages.

This is the second us military fatality in Somalia in the past year.

The New York Times reports that al-Shabab has claimed responsibility for the attack.

President Donald Trump shared his condolences in a Twitter message Friday evening.

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Although one of the wounded Americans did not receive additional care after being treated in the field, the other three and the wounded local soldier were medically evacuated for follow-up care. 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.

Al-Shabab was forced out of the capital, Mogadishu, in August 2011 following an offensive spearheaded by African Union (AU) troops, and left the vital port of Kismayo in September 2012.

On Monday, The New York Times reported that a sweeping Pentagon review of elite USA commando missions is likely to result in a sharp cut - by as much as half over the next three years - in Special Operations forces in Africa. Al-Shabaab is an al-Qaeda affiliate operating to overthrow the Somalian government, and it took credit for the attack.

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 Qaeda and the Islamic State group.

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The U.S. team was backed up by armed surveillance aircraft, the officials said.

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