One US Soldier Killed Four Injured in Attack in Somalia
10 June, 2018, 08:46
Per U.S. military policy, the soldier's name will not be released until next of kin has been notified.
The multinational force "came under mortar and small-arms fire at approximately 2:45 pm Mogadishu time (1145 GMT), killing one USA service member and injuring four U.S. service members and one partner force member", the United States military's Africa Command said in a statement.
Al-Shabab militants launched a deadly attack on US and Somali forces Friday, hitting them with explosives and heavy gunfire.
One American soldier was killed and four others were reportedly injured Friday in a firefight in Somalia, according to U.S. military officials.
The fourth wounded US service member was treated in country, the Pentagon said.
The mission's objectives were to "clear Shabaab from contested areas, liberate villages from Shabaab control and establish a permanent combat outpost created to increase the span of federal government of Somalia security and governance", Africa Command said.
The New York Times reports that al-Shabab has claimed responsibility for the attack. The last killing of a US service member in Somalia was in May 2017 during an operation about 40 miles (64 kilometers) west of Mogadishu.
Associated Press video on Friday showed Somali forces firing weapons from atop pickup trucks in a muddy rural area, and an unidentified USA soldier speaking with local residents.
A US Africa Command statement said the four were in the care of the US embassy in Kenya, awaiting transport "for additional medical evaluation". This isn't unusual, as the Mogadishu-based government tends to have very limited practical control outside of the capital city. The Pentagon has carefully monitored the spread of radical Islamic jihad across Africa but insisted that US troops are there to train and partner with local forces, not necessarily to fight.
Al-Shabaab is fighting to overthrow Somalia's central government and establish its own rule based on its interpretation of Islamic law.
The role of U.S. 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 Qaeda and the Islamic State group.
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