(Updated at 1118 hrs EST)
A Navy SEAL was killed and two others were wounded in Somalia on Friday. They were attacked while on a mission advising Somali National Army forces.
The incident occurred 40 miles west of Mogadishu near the town of Barii. The wounded are receiving medical attention, a defense official told CNN.
The troops came under small arms fire. The US troops were part of an ongoing US military program to advise and assist Somali ground forces. The mission was not part of the stepped-up effort in Somalia to conduct airstrikes and ground missions against terror targets.
In 1993, Mogadishu is where the U.S. military aimed to capture faction leader Mohamed Farrah Aidid and the ensuing firefight, known as the Battle of Mogadishu, was portrayed in the 2001 film Black Hawk Down.
It is not clear if soldiers of the 101st Airborne Division from Ft. Campbell, Kentucky took part in the operation. Soldiers from the 101st arrived in Somalia’s capital city on April 2.
“United States Africa Command will conduct various security cooperation and/or security force assistance events in Somalia in order to assist our allies and partners,” US Africa Command spokesman Pat Barnnes told Voice of Africa in an interview on Thursday.
The United States Africa Command released the following statement:
“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.”
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