AN American soldier has been killed in an “enemy attack” carried out by suspected al-Shabab terrorists in Somalia yesterday, officials said.
Four other US officers were wounded in the mortar and small-arms assault on Friday in the Jubaland region at around 2.45 pm local time.
US Africa Command said in a statement that the troops were attacked while working alongside Somalian and Kenyan forces.
A member of the “partner forces” was also injured.
One of the wounded US service members was medically treated in the field, while the other three were evacuated for further treatment.
The statement does not identify the attackers but says a larger force of Somalian and Kenyan troops were conducting an operation against al-Shabab militants.
Al-Shabab claimed credit for the attack, the SITE Intelligence Group said in a statement on Friday.
US President Donald Trump paid tribute on Twitter last night, offering "thoughts and prayers" to the families of the soldier who was killed and those who were wounded.
He tweeted: "They are truly all HEROES."
The US had pulled out of the Horn of Africa nation after 1993, when two helicopters were shot down in Mogadishu in a deadly attack which was dramatized in the film Black Hawk Down.
But last year, Trump approved expanded military operations against al-Shabab, leading to an increase in American military personnel to more than 500 and the launch of dozens of drone strikes.
Al-Shabab has been blamed for the October truck bombing in Mogadishu that killed more than 500 people.
Al-Shabab, linked to al-Qaida, seeks to establish an Islamic state in Somalia.
It was pushed out of Mogadishu in recent years but continues to control rural areas in the south and central regions.
The terror group’s fighters continue to attack the bases of a multinational African Union force that remains largely responsible for security as Somalia's fragile government tries to recover from decades of chaos.
Four US service members were killed in a militant ambush in the west African nation of Niger in October.