Somalia: US soldier killed in mission against Al-Shabaab
A US soldier has been killed in Somalia during an operation against extremist group Al-Shabaab.
Two other US servicemen were also injured in the incident on Thursday, which occurred about 40 miles west of the Somali capital, Mogadishu, near the town of Barii.
US troops attacked in Somalia
US Africa Command confirmed the incident in a statement on Friday. The soldiers were participating in an “advise and assist” mission alongside Somali troops when they were attacked by Al-Shabaab fighters.
According to reports, the soldier killed in the attack was a Navy SEAL who was struck by small arms fire. Meanwhile, the US military says the two soldiers injured in the same attack “are both receiving proper medical attention”.
Reuters reports that the US troops were hunting an Al-Shabaab commander near the Shabelle river when they were attacks by militants. The fatality comes less than a month after the US deployed “dozens” of troops in Somalia for the first time since 1994.
The United States withdrew from the Horn of Africa nations following the 1993 “Black Hawk Down” incident that killed 18 US soldiers.
Al-Shabaab fighters ‘quickly neutralised’
Few details have been released about the attack or the militants involved, but the Pentagon didn;t hesitate to confirm they were “quickly neutralized”[sic]. Some reports have suggested the operation involved a helicopter raid on a suspected Al-Shabaab hideout but the US-Somali cooperative was met with resistance.
An Al-Shabaab spokesman also claimed US troops had attacked one of its bases in Darusalam village, during an operation that involved a helicopter and gun fighting. Accounts from locals in the area appear to match up with Al-Shabaab’s claims but the details are yet to be confirmed by authorities.
Featured image: By SGT Kevin Thomas – http://www.defenseimagery.mil; VIRIN: DD-SD-00-00790, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=9889339