One US soldier killed, four wounded in attack by extremists in Somalia

10 June, 2018, 08:45 | Author: Diane Mills
  • A convoy of armored troop carrying vehicles provided by the U.S. Department of Defense and Department of State drive to the Uganda People’s Defence Force compound Mogadishu International Airport Somalia Sept. 25 2017. (U.S. Air National Guard  Tech

The U.S. provided advice, assistance and aerial surveillance during the mission, the statement said.

The multinational force "came under mortar and small-arms fire at approximately 2:45pm Mogadishu time [11:45 GMT], killing one United States service member and injuring four USA service members and one partner force member", the U.S. military's Africa Command said in a statement.

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

A USA military official confirmed the attack in the country's south, about 50 kilometers (32 miles) north of the port city of Kismayo, killed one us troop and wounded four others.

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 Somali government is dedicated to restoring peace and stability to the Somali people, and the US 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. The operation aimed to drive out the Somalia-based extremist group al-Shabab from contested areas.

The roughly 500 US troops in Somalia are mostly composed of a number of Special Operations units, including Army Green Berets, Marine Raiders and Navy SEALs spread across the country.

Earlier this month, al-Shabab claimed a series of attacks across the country, according to the SITE Intelligence group. "Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and friends of the service members".

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President Donald Trump called the soldiers heroes Friday night.

A US Africa Command statement said the four were in the care of the US embassy in Kenya, awaiting transport "for additional medical evaluation".

Names of the soldiers have not been released while the US notifies next of kin. Its fighters continue to attack the bases of a multinational African Union force that remains largely responsible for security as Somalia's fragile central government tries to recover from decades of chaos.

The extent to which USA troops are assisting behind the scenes or fighting shoulder-to-shoulder with local troops has become a point of contention, not only in Somalia but also in other parts of the world where US forces are helping fight extremist groups by backing proxy forces.

us military operations in Africa have come under greater scrutiny since an October 4 ambush by Islamic State militants in the West African country of Niger left four USA soldiers dead.

Since being pushed out of Mogadishu in 2011, the group has lost control of most of Somalia's cities and towns. A Pentagon investigation of the incident produced a highly critical report.

The investigation has already triggered changes in the way military activities are carried out in Niger and elsewhere in Africa, including giving teams the option to use heavily armored vehicles and beefed-up firepower.

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