One US soldier killed in battle against militants in Somalia
Jun 11 2018
"The U.S. provided advice, assistance and aerial surveillance during the mission".
The incident is the first known death of a US servicemen in Africa since the ambush in Niger last October.
USA forces have been working with the Somali government to fight the al-Shabab terror group, which has publicly boasted of its alliance with al-Qaeda and has been fighting Somalia's internationally recognized government for control of the country since the militant group was ousted from Mogadishu in 2011 by African Union-led forces.
A US Defense official confirmed to media that four American soldiers were injured in the attack.
The names of the victims are being withheld pending notification of next of kin.
Witnesses said the attack took place near the town of Sanguni, where the US and Somali troops were digging trenches and setting up other defenses.
The US special operations forces were fighting alongside about 800 troops from the Somali National Security Forces and Kenyan Defence Forces when they were attacked about 2:45 p.m.by mortars and small arms fire.
The statement did not clarify whether the "partner force member" was part of the Somali or Kenyan armed forces.
Last May, a U.S. Navy SEAL was killed near the village of Dar es Salam in Somalia's Lower Shabelle region, the first U.S. casualty in the country since 1993's Black Hawk Down incident.
In early 2017, President Trump approved expanded military operations against al-Shabab, leading to an increase in USA military personnel to more than 500 and the launch of dozens of drone strikes.
USA troops alongside Somali and Kenyan forces came under fire during operation against al-Shabab in Jubaland.
A U.S. Africa Command statement says the four wounded are now in the care of the U.S. Embassy medical team in neighboring Kenya.
Whether U.S. forces in other parts of Africa have been asked to take similar precautions is not clear.
A Fort Bragg soldier was the special operations member who died in an attack in Somalia on Friday, the Pentagon said Saturday night.
"The population in the region had historically supported the government, and other Somali forces had prepared for this mission by coordinating heavily with and securing the support of local authorities ahead of time", the statement said.