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US special ops forces soldier killed in Somalia firefight: reports

The Pentagon in Washington, D.C. (Dreamstime/TNS)
June 08, 2018

An American Special Operations forces soldier was killed and four others wounded in a firefight with Somalia militants on Friday, the New York Times first reported.

Three U.S. Department of Defense officials spoke to the Times about a gun fight in southwestern Somalia, where al-Shabaab militants engaged in a fight for the Shabab, an Islamist extremist group.

The American forces were with Somali troops at an outpost near Jamaame when they came under fire, officials said. The soldiers came under small arms and mortar fire.

“The American team was backed up by armed surveillance aircraft overhead, the officials said. The Shabab, an affiliate of Al Qaeda, claimed credit for the attack; it has been fighting American forces in East Africa for more than a decade,” the Times reported. “In a post picked up by the SITE Intelligence Group, which monitors online extremist message boards, the Shabab said that its fighters had struck a joint American-Somali base on the outskirts of Kismayo, mounting what it called a ‘fierce attack.'”

This is the first combat casualty that has been publicized in Africa since reports of the deadly Niger ambush that killed four U.S. soldiers this past October.

Staff Sgt. Bryan Black, Sgt. La David Johnson, Staff Sgt. Dustin Wright and Staff Sgt. Jeremiah Johnson of the 3rd Special Forces Group were killed during an October ambush in Niger. (Twitter)