Published: Sun, June 10, 2018
World News | By Laverne Osborne

USA soldiers wounded in Somalia are now in Kenya, military says

USA soldiers wounded in Somalia are now in Kenya, military says

'We attacked a military base ... killed one USA soldier, two Kenyan soldiers and nine Somali soldiers from Jubbaland state.

A USA special operations forces soldier was killed and four were wounded on Friday in a gun battle against likely al-Shabaab militants in Somalia, said a us official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Roughly 500 U.S. troops are stationed in Somalia as part of an ongoing mission to assist the country's national security forces in counter-terrorism operations.

A local service member also died, defense officials said.

The troops had been on a mission to clear al-Shabab from contested areas as well as villages the armed group's fighters controlled "and establish a permanent combat outpost" to expand the reach of the Somali state, the usa military's Africa Command said.

Four U.S. service members were killed in a militant ambush in the west African nation of Niger in October.

President Donald Trump in early 2017 approved expanded military operations against al-Shabab, leading to an increase in us military personnel to more than 500 and the launch of dozens of drone strikes.

Islamist group al Shabaab has claimed responsibility for the gun and mortar attack yesterday afternoon. The last killing of a USA service member in Somalia was in May 2017 during an operation about 40 miles (64 kilometers) west of Mogadishu.

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But President Donald Trump in early 2017 approved expanded military operations against al-Shabab, leading to an increase in USA military personnel to more than 500 and the launch of dozens of drone strikes.

In a statement Saturday, the U.S. Africa command weighed in, saying the service members were being treated in Kenya at the American embassy by medical personnel. Officials worry the extremist group is in the midst of a resurgence after losing much of the territory it once held in Somalia and many of its fighters in the past several years.

The U.S. has about 1,000 special operations personnel in Africa.

More than 7,300 Special Operations troops are working around the world, many of them conducting shadow wars against terrorists in Yemen, Libya, Somalia and other hot spots. Earlier Friday, the U.S. Africa Command issued a statement in response to allegations that civilians had been killed in a May 9 operation, saying a "thorough review" found the allegations to be "not credible".

The casualty, coming less than a year after the death in Niger of four Army special operations soldiers, could raise further questions about the presence of United States troops on remote missions in Africa.

The U.S. team was backed up by armed surveillance aircraft, the officials said.

A USA military report on that incident publicized by the Pentagon last month without being fully released found that multiple individual and institutional failures left the US troops vulnerable to the ambush.

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