One US soldier has been killed and two others have been injured outside a military base near the capital, Mogadishu, fighting the al-Qaeda-linked al-Shabab terrorists, the Pentagon has said.
The incident took place on Thursday near Barii, about 60 kilometers west Mogadishu, while the US forces were carrying out an “advise and assist” mission with Somalia’s military. This is the first time since 1993 that the US military has suffered fatalities in the African country.
“The service member was struck by small arms fire while conducting an advise and assist mission alongside members of the Somalia National Army. Two other US service members were wounded in the incident. They are both receiving proper medical attention. No further information about their conditions are available at this time,” the US Africa Command spokeswoman said in a statement.
“US forces are assisting partner forces to counter al-Shabaab in Somalia to degrade the al-Qaeda affiliate’s ability to recruit, train and plot external terror attacks throughout the region and in America,” Robyn Mack added.
This comes as Somalia has ramped up its operations against terrorist groups and particularly the al-Qaeda-linked al-Shabab militants.
The United States already has a small contingent of special operations forces in Somalia, allegedly aiding the war-torn country in fighting Takfiri terrorist groups; however, there have been reports of civilian casualties as a result of American military interference in the African nation.