United States soldier killed, 4 others wounded in 'enemy attack' in Somalia

US soldier killed 4 others wounded in ‘enemy attack’ in Somalia

U.S. forces were offering "advice, assistance and aerial surveillance during the mission", U.S. Africa Command said, noting that the mission was created to increase the Somali government's ability to provide services to innocent civilians under al-Shabab rule.

Four other USA service members were wounded when the team came under attack by mortars and small arms from unknown insurgent forces in the area.

American forces under the United States military's Africa Command are partnering with African Union Mission to Somalia (Amisom) and Somali national security forces in counterterrorism operations, and have conducted frequent raids and drone strikes on Shabaab training camps throughout Somalia.

An American special operations soldier has been killed in an attack in Somalia that also wounded four other USA military personnel and one Somali soldier.

The joint-coalition forces had been conducting an operation against al-Shabab militants about 217 miles southwest of the capital, Mogadishu, when the attack occurred, the statement said.

Al-Shabab said it stormed a Somali military base near Bosaso in the country's northeast, blew up a USA military vehicle and downed a US surveillance drone.

The operation is aimed to clear the Somalia-based extremist group al-Shabab from contested areas.

About 500 US troops are deployed in Somalia.

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

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.

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Associated Press video on Friday showed Somali forces firing weapons from atop pickup trucks in a muddy rural area, and an unidentified US soldier speaking with local residents.

Although one of the wounded Americans did not receive additional care after being treated in the field, the other three and the wounded local soldier were medically evacuated for follow-up care.

Late previous year USA drone strikes also began targeting a small presence of fighters linked to the Islamic State group in Somalia's north.

Since being pushed out of Mogadishu in 2011, the group has lost control of most of Somalia's cities and towns.

Names are being withheld pending next-of-kin notification, officials said in a statement, adding that the command's thoughts and prayers are with the families and friends of the service members.

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

The US have been providing advice, assistance and aerial surveillance during the mission.

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.

The US said no civilians were killed during the strikes.

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