Somalia conflict: One US soldier killed, four wounded in firefight

Somalia conflict: One US soldier killed, four wounded in firefight

One U.S. special operations soldier was killed and four U.S. service members wounded in an "enemy attack" Friday in Somalia, the U.S. military said - casualties that are likely to put renewed scrutiny on America's counterterror operations in Africa.

This was the first public announcement of a us military combat death in Africa since four USA service members were killed in a militant ambush in the West African nation of Niger in October. The US said its personnel provided advice, assistance and aerial surveillance.

One U.S. special operations soldier was killed and four U.S. service members were wounded in an attack in Somalia on Friday, June 8, 2018. One of the wounded United States service members received sufficient medical care in the field, and the other three were medically evacuated for additional treatment.

The terrorist group al-Shabaab, the local al-Qaeda affiliate, has claimed responsibility for the attack.

The Pentagon has carefully monitored the spread of radical Islamic jihad across Africa but insisted that American troops are there to train and partner with local forces, not necessarily to fight. There are now 500 troops stationed in Somalia fighting Islamic terrorism, but there could be more due to shadow wars.

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

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In September 2014, American officials said they believed a drone strike crippled the group by killing its leader, Ahmed Abdi Godane, who at the time was one of the most wanted men in Africa. 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.

Friday's incident marked the first time a US service member has died in action in Somalia since Navy SEAL Kyle Milliken, a senior chief petty officer, was killed in May of previous year in a firefight with al-Shabab militants.

Al-Shabaab is fighting to overthrow Somalia's central government and establish its own rule based on its interpretation of Islamic law. Some of al-Shabaab's top leaders have been killed in US drone strikes, but its operations have continued in Somalia despite the resistance.

But al-Shabab has continued to carry out deadly suicide bomb attacks in Mogadishu, while retaining a strong presence in other parts of the country.

The U.S. has about 1,000 special operations personnel in Africa. A Pentagon investigation of the incident produced a highly critical report.

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