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US service member injured in IED attack by Al Qaeda-linked terrorists in Somalia

Members of the Al Qaeda-affiliated militant group Al Shabaab stand after giving themselves up to forces of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) in Garsale, approximately 10km from the town of Jowhar, 80km north of the capital Mogadishu, 22 September 2012. (AU-UN IST/Abukar Albadri/AMISOM)
September 07, 2020

A U.S. service member was injured by an attack from the Al Qaeda-linked terror group Al-Shabaab in Somalia on Monday morning.

Col. Chris Karns, director of U.S. Africa Command Public Affairs, told American Military News that the attack occurred in Jana Cabdalle, Somalia during a routine mission.

“One U.S. service member was injured in an attack by Al-Shabaab this morning in the vicinity of Jana Cabdalle, Somalia. U.S. and Somali forces were conducting an advise, assist and accompany mission when Al Shabaab attacked using a vehicle employed as an improvised explosive device and mortar fire,” Karns said.

Karns added that the service member is being treated for non-life-threatening injuries and is considered in stable condition.

At least one Al Shabaab terrorist was killed in the attack. A report by Reuters, citing a Somali official, said that two Somali special forces troops were also killed and two more were injured.

“The U.S. regularly conducts advise and assist missions with Somali partner forces. The collective efforts of the U.S. and Somalia place pressure on Al Shabaab, limiting their ability to extend their reach and movement,” Karns said. “Al Shabaab remains a dangerous enemy. Continued pressure is being placed on this Al Qaeda-affiliated threat to limit its ability to expand and export violence, terrorism, and crime more broadly.”

U.S. and Somalia forces have conducted nearly 50 airstrikes against Al Shabaab in Somalia so far this year.

On August 24, a U.S. airstrike killed six Al Shabaab terrorists and wounded three others after they ambushed U.S. and Somalia forces around Dar as-Salam, Somalia.

That attack came a week after a previous U.S. strike targeted a senior member of Al Shabaab and killed one of the group’s terrorists, although they were not identified.

“Al Shabaab routinely resorts to the tradecraft of terror, crime, and propaganda to intimidate and seek control of the local populace,” said Col Karns. “Persistent pressure against the Al Shabaab damages their narrative, network, and plans for broader destruction and violence.”