An American special operations soldier was killed and four U.S. service members were wounded Friday in an “enemy attack,” according to U.S. Africa Command. The incident is the first known death of a U.S. servicemen in Africa since the ambush in Niger last October, CBS News’ David Martin reported.
One member of the “partner forces” was also wounded.
A Defense Department official told CBS News the attack was by the al Shabaab terror group.
The attack occurred at an outpost 60 miles northwest of Kismayo of combined American, Somali and Kenyan forces. Approximately 800 troops from the Somali and Kenyan forces, assisted by U.S. soldiers, were conducting a multi-day operation to root out al Shabaab militants and establish a permanent combat outpost.
The names of the victims are being withheld pending next of kin notification.
Al Shabaab is an affiliate of al Qaeda.
The Trump administration has expanded military operations against extremists in Somalia, including al Shabaab, which was blamed for the truck bombing in Mogadishu in October that killed more than 500 people. The U.S. military has about 500 troops in Somalia, Martin reports.