USA commando killed, four wounded in Somalia attack

  • USA commando killed, four wounded in Somalia attack

USA commando killed, four wounded in Somalia attack

One of the wounded US service members received sufficient medical care in the field, and the other three were medically evacuated for additional treatment. That was believed to be the first death of a U.S. troop in Somalia since the infamous 1993 Black Hawk Down disaster.

U.S. Africa Command said in a statement that U.S. troops with Somalian and Kenyan forces came under mortar and small-arms fire Friday in Jubaland, Somalia, at around 2.45 p.m. local time. The injured service members were medevaced to Djibouti, where US Africa Command (AFRICOM) maintains its Camp Lemonnier base.

The U.S. troops' role was to provide advice, assistance and aerial surveillance to the Somali and Kenyan forces as they cleared al-Shabaab militants from villages and established a combat outpost.

The American forces were operating alongside Somali troops.

One US service member reportedly received sufficient medical care at the scene and three others were transported out of the area to receive treatment.

The forces were also setting up "a permanent combat outpost" to help expand the Somali government's control over the region, where the jihadist insurgency for years has destabilized the east African nation, particularly in rural areas.

A USA surveillance aircraft was also flying overhead during the incident according to two USA officials. Though the Pentagon initially described Miliken as operating behind Somali troops, US officials later acknowledged that USA special operations soldiers had been fighting together with the Somali forces.

A US Department of Defense (DoD) representative confirmed to AFP that one American soldier was killed and four were wounded.

The statement does not specify who carried out the attack, but reports say the al Qaeda-affiliated al Shabaab is suspected.

The attack comes one day after al-Shabaab overwhelmed the Somali National Army's base by the city of Baidoa, the capital of the Southwestern Bay region of Somalia, on June 7.

Militants affiliated with al-Shabab have threatened to conduct attacks against the United States, and the USA military has said the group poses a direct threat to US interests and allies in the region.

The role of United States troops during the operation was to provide aerial surveillance and to provide other assistance to the coalition group.