American Soldier Killed, Four Injured by al-Shabaab Fighters in Somalia

Saul Bowman
June 10, 2018

"During an operation June 8, 2018, in Jubaland, Somalia, one U.S. Special Operations member was killed and four U.S. service members and one partner force was wounded as the result of an enemy attack", U.S. Africa Command (Africom) said in a statement.

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. In addition, the US had armed surveillance aircraft overhead.

The U.S. forces were on a patrol with Somali and Kenyan troops when they were attacked with mortars and small arms in southern Somalia, AFRICOM said.

Three of the four USA service members were transferred for medical treatment while the fourth received medical care on the spot, the Washington Post reported.

Over the past year, American military officials have expressed new concerns about the Shabab, which was responsible for one of the deadliest terrorist attacks on African soil when it struck a popular mall in Nairobi in 2013.

The combined Somali National Security Forces, Kenya Defense Force and US forces were on a multiday operation in Jubaland, southwest of the capital, Mogadishu, when the attack occurred.

The United States has about 500 troops in the country, according to U.S. officials, many of them special operations soliders such as Navy SEALs and U.S. Army Green Berets.

A US Department of Defence (DoD) representative said one US solider was killed.

The U.S. had pulled out of the Horn of Africa nation after 1993, when two helicopters were shot down in Mogadishu and bodies of Americans were dragged through the streets.

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.

President Donald Trump called the soldiers heroes Friday night.

Another U.S. service member in Somalia was killed in May 2017 during an operation about 40 miles west of Mogadishu.

Al-Shabaab is fighting to overthrow Somalia's central government and establish its own rule based on its interpretation of Islamic law.

Since being pushed out of Mogadishu in 2011, the group has lost control of most of Somalia's cities and towns. He said that US forces in Africa had come under fire about 10 times during the past year.

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. A Pentagon investigation of the incident produced a highly critical report.

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