An American soldier was shot dead and two others wounded in a night-time raid with Somali forces against Shabaab militants in Somalia, the US military said Friday.
“On May 4, one US service member was killed during an operation against Al-Shabaab near Barii, Somalia, approximately 40 miles west of Mogadishu,” said a statement from the US Africa Command (AFRICOM), adding the US forces were “conducting an advise and assist mission alongside members of the Somali National Army.”
AFRICOM spokeswoman Robyn Mack told AFP that two US soldiers were also wounded.
“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,” she said.
US special forces have been deployed in Somalia for years, training and supporting the Somali military in the fight against the Al-Qaeda aligned Shabaab. Drone and missile strikes have also been used against Shabaab commanders and footsoldiers.
A local resident, Moalim Muhidin, said two helicopters were involved in the raid, firing missiles before landing to unload soldiers, after which a heavy firefight broke out.
Abdirisak Farah, a Somali military officer, told AFP that US and Somali commandoes were involved in the overnight raid which targeted a Shabaab unit.
He said there were casualties on both sides, including six Shabaab fighters killed.