Soldier killed, four wounded in Somalia operation

Since 2007 Al-Shabaab an Al Qaeda linked group has been fighting to overthrow the internationally backed government in Somalia

The U.S. troops were there to provide advice, assistance and aerial surveillance, the statement explained.

The U.S. special operations forces were fighting alongside about 800 troops from the Somali National Security Forces and Kenyan Defence Forces when they were attacked late on Friday by mortars and small arms fire.

Another U.S. service member in Somalia was killed in May 2017 during an operation about 40 miles west of Mogadishu.

An American service member was killed in Somalia Friday and four others were wounded in a firefight with Al Shabab fighters, according to U.S. Africa Command (Africom).

Hundreds of American troops now serve in Somalia.

Al-Shabab, an affiliate of al-Qaida, claimed credit for the attack; it has been fighting USA forces in East Africa for more than a decade.

"My thoughts and prayers are with the families of our serviceman who was killed and his fellow servicemen who were wounded in Somalia", Trump tweeted.

President Donald Trump called the soldiers heroes Friday night.

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Hundreds of newly trained al-Shabab fighters perform military exercises in the Lafofe area south of Mogadishu, Somalia, on February 17, 2011. Three of the wounded US service members and the one local fighter who was wounded in the attack were medically evacuated, the Pentagon said.

American forces have been back operating in Somalia for more than a decade. The US had pulled out of the country after 1993, when two helicopters were shot down in Mogadishu and bodies of Americans were dragged through the streets.

Late past year US drone strikes also began targeting a small presence of fighters linked to the Islamic State group in Somalia's north.

On Monday, The New York Times reported that a sweeping Pentagon review of elite USA commando missions is likely to result in a sharp cut - by as much as half over the next three years - in Special Operations forces in Africa.

"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", General Thomas Waldhauser, Commander, U.S. Africa Command, said in a statement Saturday.

A US Special Forces Operational Detachment Alpha (ODA) came under attack today in the Bar-Sanguni area near Kismayo in Somalia.

The investigation has already triggered changes in the way military activities are carried out in Niger and elsewhere in Africa, including giving teams the option to use heavily armored vehicles and beefed-up firepower.

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