US commando killed, four wounded in Somalia attack

Drone strike

At least one American and two Somalia National Army troops were on Friday evening killed in an ambush by militant group Al-Shabaab in Bar Sanguni 45km from the Southern coastal town of Kismayu, Radio Dalsan reports.

The multinational force "came under mortar and small-arms fire at approximately 2:45 pm Mogadishu time (1145 GMT), killing one USA service member and injuring 4 U.S. service members and one partner force member", the United States military's Africa Command said in a statement.

"We attacked a military base. killed one U.S. soldier, two Kenyan soldiers and nine Somali soldiers from Jubbaland state. We also injured four USA soldiers", Abdiasis Abu Musab, al Shabaab's military operations spokesman, told Reuters on late Friday.

The mission's objectives were to "clear Shabab from contested areas, liberate villages from Shabab control and establish a permanent combat outpost created to increase the span of federal government of Somalia security and governance", Africa Command said.

"We killed 40 Somali soldiers in the base", Abdiasis Abu Musab, al Shabaab's military operations spokesman, told Reuters.

"The US provided advice, assistance and aerial surveillance during the mission", it said.

Four other service members were wounded.

According to AFP, Ali Mohamed Moalin, a traditional elder who lives close to Afgoye in Lower Shabelle where the raid took place, said five "innocent farmers" were killed.

"We attacked a military base. killed one U.S. soldier, two Kenyan soldiers and nine Somali soldiers from Jubbaland state".

"As with any allegation of civilian casualties, US Africa Command reviewed all available relevant information concerning the incident".

US President Donald Trump offered his condolences on Twitter.

Still, the US has made several changes in the way its forces have been operating in Africa, the result of an investigation into an October 2017 ambush of USA special operations forces in Niger that left four Americans and four Nigeriens dead.

American military officials worry that the group is growing once more, even after losing much of its territory in Somalia in recent years and being targeted by American drone strikes.



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