11 June 2018

East Africa: US Service Member Killed, 4 Injured in Somalia

Photo: Al-Shabab
Al-Shabab

Nairobi — One US service member was killed while four others deployed to Somalia are recuperating in Kenya after they sustained injuries during a security operation.

A statement by the US Africa Command says the wounded officers are currently under the care of the US Embassy Medical Team in Kenya as they await follow-on transportation for additional medical evaluation.

The incident occurred on June 8.

This is the second US military death since the 1993 'Black Hawk Down' incident that left 18 American service members dead.

In May, a US Navy SEAL was killed while on a mission advising Somali National Army forces.

According to the US Africa Command, "The combined Somali National Security Forces (SNSF), Kenyan Defence Force (KDF) and US force came under mortar and small-arms fire at approximately 2:45pm Mogadishu time killing one US service member and injuring four US service members and one partner force member."

A large force consisting of approximately 800 forces from the SNSF and KDF were conducting a multi-day operation approximately 350 kilometres southwest of Mogadishu when the attack occurred.

The mission's objectives were to clear Al Shabaab from contested areas, liberate villages from Al Shabaab control, and establish a permanent combat outpost designed to increase the span of Federal Government of Somalia (FGS) security and governance.

The US Forces have committed to continue degrading the terrorist threat posed by al-Qaeda and its affiliate Al -Shabaab, as well as the threat posed by ISIS in Somalia.

"Our strategy in East Africa is to build partner capacity to ensure that violent extremist organizations, who wish harm in the region, wish harm on the European continent, and ultimately wish to harm the United States, are contained," said General Thomas Waldhauser, Commander, US Africa Command.

"Simply put, we're working to prevent atrocious acts before they come to fruition."

The US forces formally returned to Somalia in October 2013, after the deadly 'Black Hawk Down' incident in 1993.

According to US media reports, there are about 500 American military personnel in Somalia, most of them are special operations forces based in the capital city of Mogadishu.

"We will continue to work with our partners to support AMISOM and the Federal Government of Somalia in its effort to bring improved governance, development, and stability," reads a statement by the US Africa Command.

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