A Somali army soldier keeps guard as a tank rolls past after they captured the town of Barawe in 2014. The US military helps local forces to fight terror group al Shabaab
A Somali army soldier keeps guard as a tank rolls past after they captured the town of Barawe in 2014. The US military helps local forces to fight terror group al Shabaab ( REUTERS/Feisal Omar )
A US soldier has been killed in southern Somalia and four others wounded while on a mission to fight terror group al-Shabaab.
While working with 800 local Somali forces and Kenyan soldiers, the US service members came under attack from insurgent forces in the area of Jubaland by “mortar and small-arms fire at approximately 2:45pm Mogadishu time,” according to a statement from US Africa Command. One partner force member was also injured but the statement did not indicate if the soldier was Somalian or Kenyan.
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The terror group al-Shabaab, an affiliate of al-Qaeda is said to command approximately four to six thousand fighters in Somalia, which makes it one of its largest factions.
The purpose of the mission was to “establish a permanent combat outpost” to help expand the Somalian state’s reach in the area.
Al-Shabab is attempting to overthrow the central government and establish its own state structure based on its interpretation of Islamic law.
While the group is still a threat, Somali forces coupled with the African Union forces have mostly removed fighters from larger cities in Somalia, as it did in Mogadishu in 2011.
However, the group still carries out suicide attacks in the capital city.