Published: Mon, June 11, 2018
Global Media | By Garry Long

Somali attack kills US soldier, hurts 4 others

Somali attack kills US soldier, hurts 4 others

"We attacked a military base ... killed one USA soldier, two Kenyan soldiers and nine Somali soldiers from Jubbaland state".

It was the first public announcement of a USA military combat death on the continent since four US service members were killed in a militant ambush in the west African nation of Niger in October.

Three U.S. service members and the wounded partner force service member were medically evacuated to receive additional treatment, officials said.

A Defense Department official told CBS News the attack was by the al Shabaab terror group.

The Shabab said in a post translated by the SITE Intelligence Group, which monitors online extremist message boards, that its fighters had attacked a joint American-Somali base near Kismayo, mounting what it called a "fierce attack".

The attack on Friday came toward the end of a dayslong operation in which a team of Green Berets from the 3rd Special Forces Group - the same unit that fought in the ambush in Niger - worked to clear several villages from Shabab control alongside 800 local troops from Somalia and Kenya.

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Traditionally, US presidents have been wary of intervening in Somalia since 18 special forces soldiers died fighting militias in Mogadishu in 1993, a battle dramatised in the film Black Hawk Down.

The Somali government is dedicated to restoring peace and stability to the Somali people, and the USA supports those efforts, Africom officials said in the statement, noting that this mission was specifically created to increase the government's ability to provide vital services to innocent civilians living under al-Shabab's rule.

This is the second US military fatality in Somalia in the a year ago. "We also injured four USA soldiers", Abdiasis Abu Musab, al-Shabaab's military operations spokesman, told Reuters late Friday.

Somali officials have said civilians have been killed in more than one joint US military operation with Somali forces.

A statement from U.S. Africa Command indicated the U.S., Kenyan and Somali forces attacked Friday had planned for the mission carefully.

And at least in Niger, U.S. Africa Command's General Thomas Waldhauser said commanders had been ordered to be "far more prudent" about the missions that were approved.

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