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4 servicemembers wounded in Somalia treated, released — U.S. military

4 servicemembers wounded in Somalia treated, released — U.S. military

MOGADISHU-Somalia's Islamist group al Shabaab has claimed responsibility for an attack in which a USA commando was killed and four others were wounded when they came under fire in the country.

President Donald Trump on Friday offered his condolences after the Somalia attack.

The attack occurred at an outpost 60 miles northwest of Kismayo of combined American, Somali and Kenyan forces.

Africom said a large force comprising of about 800 forces from Somali and allied forces came under mortar and small-arms fire while conducting a multi-day operation on Friday afternoon, about 350 kms southwest of Mogadishu.

A U.S. commando killed in a Somalia firefight against al-Shabaab militants was identified as U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Alexander Conrad, 26, of Chandler, Arizona, the Department of Defense said late Saturday. One coalition service member was wounded.

It was the first public announcement of a USA military combat death on the continent since four US service members were killed in a militant ambush in the west African nation of Niger in October. The group was blamed for the truck bombing in Mogadishu in October that killed more than 500 people and raised concerns about al-Shabab's ability to build ever-larger explosives.




One local soldier was also wounded in the attack, the United States military said in a statement, without clarifying whether that fighter was part of the Somali or Kenyan armed forces. Its fighters continue to attack the bases of a multinational African Union force that remains largely responsible for security as Somalia's fragile central government tries to recover from decades of chaos.

But it still has a strong presence in regions around the capital.

A U.S. Africa Command statement says the four wounded are now in the care of the U.S. Embassy medical team in neighboring Kenya.

Last May, a U.S. Navy SEAL was killed near the village of Dar es Salam in Somalia's Lower Shabelle region, the first U.S. casualty in the country since 1993's Black Hawk Down incident.

But U.S. military officials said this week that no decision had been made.

The October attack in Niger raised questions in Washington about the USA military presence across Africa as the Trump administration focuses counterterrorism efforts on a range of groups linked to al-Qaida and the Islamic State group.

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