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U.S. soldier death in Somalia is first there since 1993

US Africa Command announced last month that it was sending sending "dozens" of additional troops to Somalia to train and equip the Somali National Army and the forces participating in the African Union Mission there.

On Friday, US Africa Command said two service members had also been wounded in the operation, in which US troops came under fire after US aircraft delivered Somali forces to the target area. In recent years, the United States has sent a small number of special operations forces and counter-terrorism advisers to Somalia and conducted a number of airstrikes. And in September, 2016, the US military said it was "misinformed" when it launched an air strike in an area with Somali soldiers, causing 22 deaths of people who the U.S.is supposed to be helping fight Islamic militancy, reported Al Jazeera.

A Somali woman reacts as she speaks on a cellphone after one of relatives was killed in an explosion at the entrance of a cafe in the Mogadishu last month.

Milliken is the first American servicemember killed in action in Somalia in decades, likely since the notorious 1993 Battle of Mogadishu, referred to as the "Black Hawk Down" incident.

Both Somalia and the US are stepping up efforts against the Somalia-based al-Shabab, which has carried out attacks in other parts of East Africa and continues to target the Somali capital with deadly bombings.

A Somali intelligence official confirmed the USA military operation, saying U.S. forces in helicopters raided an Al-Shabaab hideout near the Somali capital on Thursday night and engaged with fighters.

AFRICOM, led by US Marine Corps General Thomas D. Waldhouser, said the deployment was for logistics training of Somalia's army.

The department did not specify the exact cause of death but say Milliken died earlier this week during an operation against al-Shabaab militants who are linked to al Qaeda. We captured weapons from them too. First they had a helicopter which landed some kilometres away from our base, to which they walked. "We had the unfortunate casualty".

The Pentagon told reporters in a briefing Friday, however, that the militant attackers were "quickly neutralized".

US and Somali forces were attacked shortly after arriving by helicopter to the target location, a compound that housed a group of al-Shabaab militants associated with an attack on facilities nearby used by Somali and USA military forces.

Somali women react to the cafe explosion from an adjacent building.

Two helicopters were involved in the raid, firing missiles before landing to unload soldiers, after which a heavy firefight broke out, Moalim Muhidin, a local source told AFP.

"This was not related to those", he said.

Somalia has been at war since 1991, when clan-based warlords overthrew dictator Siad Barre and then turned on each other. Hundreds of U.S. special forces rotate through Somalia annually.



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