U.S. Service Member Killed, 4 Others Wounded in Somalia Attack

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

At least one US special forces soldier was killed and four US service members were wounded after an enemy attack in Jubaland, Somalia, according to a statement from US Africa Command (AFRICOM).

The attack marks the first known combat death of a U.S. service member in Africa since the October 4 ambush of U.S. and Nigerien forces which claimed the lives of four American troops and five Nigeriens.

Witnesses said the attack took place near the town of Sanguni, while the USA and Somali troops were digging trenches and setting up other defenses.

A U.S. special operations soldier has been killed and five military personnel - including four American service members - wounded in an "enemy attack" in southwestern Somalia, according to USA officials. One of the wounded USA service members received sufficient medical care in the field, and the other three were medically evacuated for additional treatment.

Earlier this month, al-Shabab claimed a series of attacks across the country, according to the SITE Intelligence group.

"Our strategy in East Africa is to build partner capacity to ensure that violent extremist organizations, who wish harm in the region, wish harm on the European continent, and ultimately wish to harm the United States, are contained", General Thomas Waldhauser, Commander, U.S. Africa Command, said in a statement Saturday.

President Donald Trump in early 2017 approved expanded military operations against al-Shabaab, leading to an increase in USA military personnel to more than 500 and the launch of dozens of drone strikes.

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A US Department of Defence (DoD) representative said one US solider was killed. Al-Shabab has been blamed for the October truck bombing in Mogadishu that killed more than 500 people. The US had pulled out of the country after 1993, when two helicopters were shot down in Mogadishu and bodies of Americans were dragged through the streets.

Al-Shabab, linked to al-Qaida, seeks to establish an Islamic state in Somalia. He said that USA forces in Africa had come under fire about 10 times during the past year.

"The mission's objectives were to clear al-Shabaab from contested areas, liberate villages from al-Shabaab control, and establish a permanent combat outpost created to increase the span of Federal Government of Somalia (FGS) security and governance", said the Africom statement.

The U.S. has about 1,000 special operations personnel in Africa.

A USA service member was killed Friday in southern Somalia, according to four U.S. military officials.

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.

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