A U.S. Navy SEAL was killed on Thursday during a mission assisting Somali government forces outside of the capital of Mogadishu, a U.S. defense official confirmed to USNI News on Friday.
In a Friday statement, U.S. Africa Command acknowledged a U.S. service member was killed but did not provide additional details on the units involved.
The SEALs were part of a mission to assist Somali national forces in their ongoing fight with the Islamic militant organization al-Shabaab.
“U.S. forces were conducting an advise and assist mission alongside members of the Somali National Army,” AFRICOM said in a statement.
“U.S. forces are assisting partner forces to counter al-Shabaab in Somalia to degrade the al Qaeda affiliate’s ability to recruit, train and plot external terror attacks throughout the region and in America.”
The SEAL died about 40 miles west of the capital of Mogadishu near the city of Barrii.
News wire Reuters reported two other U.S. service members were injured during the operation.
“Two other U.S. servicemen were wounded during the operation, when U.S. troops were hunting an al Shabaab commander near the Shabelle river,” read the report.
The following is the complete May 5, 2017 statement from U.S. AFRICOM.
U.S. service member killed in Somalia
On May 4, one U.S. service member was killed during an operation against al-Shabaab near Barii, Somalia, approximately 40 miles west of Mogadishu.
U.S. forces were conducting an advise and assist mission alongside members of the Somali National Army.
Al-Shabaab presents a threat to Americans and American interests. Al Shabaab’s affiliate, al-Qaeda has murdered Americans; radicalizes and recruits terrorists and fighters in the United States; and attempts to conduct and inspire attacks against Americans, our allies and our interests around the world, including here at home.
U.S. forces are assisting partner forces to counter al-Shabaab in Somalia to degrade the al-Qaeda affiliate’s ability to recruit, train and plot external terror attacks throughout the region and in America.
We continue to support our Somali and regional partners to systematically dismantle this al Qaeda affiliate, and help them to achieve stability and security throughout the region as part of the global counterterrorism effort.