Published: Sun, June 10, 2018
Global | By Shelia Dennis

One US soldier killed, four wounded in attack by extremists in Somalia

One US soldier killed, four wounded in attack by extremists in Somalia

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.

One "partner force member" also was wounded.

The three wounded USA service members and the Kenyan soldier were evacuated by military aircraft and the United States troops are in "stable condition", receiving medical care outside of Somalia, according to one U.S. military official familiar with the operation.

The attack occurred in Jubaland, where a large force comprising about 800 Somali, Kenyan and USA troops were working to clear a large area of Al-Qaeda-aligned Al-Shabaab fighters.

Defense Department officials said at first that Somali government troops had led that operation, and al-Shabab militants had attacked USA forces that were hanging back. The operation aimed to clear the Somalia-based extremist group al-Shabab from contested areas.

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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.

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.

US President Donald Trump offered his condolences via Twitter.

Al Shabaab has claimed responsibility for an attack in which a US commando was killed and four others were wounded when they came under fire in the country. This isn't unusual, as the Mogadishu-based government tends to have very limited practical control outside of the capital city.

The American forces were operating alongside Somali troops.

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The names of victims will not be released until the families have been notified.

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.

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