US military: 4 soldiers wounded in Somalia treated, in Kenya

US military service member killed in Somalia attack

The role of U.S. troops during the operation was to provide aerial surveillance and to provide other assistance to the coalition group.

It was the first known U.S. combat death in Africa since an ambush in Niger in October, the New York Times reports.

The troops had been on a mission to clear al-Shabaab from contested areas as well as villages the militants controlled, "and establish a permanent combat outpost" to expand the reach of the Somali state, the US military's Africa Command said in a statement.

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.

Names of the soldiers have not been released while the US notifies next of kin.

Witnesses said the attack took place near the town of Sanguni, where the USA and Somali troops were digging trenches and setting up other defenses.

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Approximately 800 troops from the Somali and Kenyan forces, assisted by USA soldiers, were conducting a multi-day operation to root out al Shabaab militants and establish a permanent combat outpost.

The Defense Department says a 26-year-old soldier from Arizona has died from wounds suffered in Somalia. The injured have been treated and discharged to a U.S.embassy medical team in Kenya, the U.S. Africa command said Saturday. One coalition service member was wounded.

The U.S. troops are in Somalia as part of America's counterterror operations in Africa.

But U.S. military officials said this week that no decision had been made. "We also injured four United States soldiers", Abdiasis Abu Musab, al-Shabaab's military operations spokesman, told Reuters late Friday.

During a seven-month investigation into the attack, led by officials from the Pentagon's Africa Command, the Special Operations general in charge of American commandos in Africa issued a series of orders that roughly mirrored the actions in Somalia, putting in place stringent guidelines to ensure that those on the ground had the proper support before leaving on a mission.

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