First American military death in Somalia since 1993

MOGADISHU • An American soldier has been killed in a night-time raid in Somalia, in what is said to be the first US military death in combat there since the infamous events of "Black Hawk Down" 24 years ago.

The death occurred three weeks after the US announced the deployment of "a few dozen troops" to Somalia, tasked with training and equipping Somalian troops to fight Al-Shabaab militants.

"One US service member was killed during an operation against Al-Shabaab near Barii, Somalia, approximately 65km west of Mogadishu", during the raid on Thursday, the US' Africa Command (Africom) said in a statement.

Two other US soldiers were wounded in the operation against Shabaab militants, said Africom spokesman Robyn Mack.

US special forces have been deployed in Somalia for years. Drone and missile strikes have also been used against Shabaab commanders and foot soldiers.

Ms Mack said it appeared to be the first time the US military has suffered a battlefield loss in Somalia since 1993, when 18 American servicemen died in what is called the Battle of Mogadishu.

That battle, portrayed in the 2002 movie Black Hawk Down, involved an ill-fated US attempt to snatch militia leaders in Somalia's capital.

Two Black Hawk helicopters were shot down, sparking a chaotic, under-fire rescue operation that resulted in hundreds of deaths, including those of many civilians and US personnel.

AGENCE FRANCE PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on May 07, 2017, with the headline 'First American military death in Somalia since 1993'. Print Edition | Subscribe