A U.S. special operations soldier was killed in southwestern Somalia on Friday and four others were wounded when their team came under attack from insurgents.
According to the U.S. Africa Command, U.S. service members were with Somali forces in an operation aimed at clearing al-Shabab, a terrorist organization, from villages and establishing a permanent combat outpost. “The U.S. provided advice, assistance and aerial surveillance during the mission,” according to a statement from the command.
The statement says, “One of the wounded U.S. service members received sufficient medical care in the field. Three U.S. service members and the one partner force wounded were medically evacuated to receive additional treatment.”
The New York Times reports that al-Shabab has claimed responsibility for the attack.
The combined Somali National Security Forces, Kenya Defense Force and U.S. forces were on a multiday operation in Jubaland, southwest of the capital, Mogadishu, when the attack occurred.
Hundreds of American troops currently serve in Somalia.
Friday’s killing is the first known U.S. combat death in Africa since an ambush in Niger last year. Last October four Army special operations soldiers were killed in Niger. The Pentagon cited a series of military failures, inadequate training and failure to wear protective gear as factors in their deaths.