Al-Shabab says 1 US soldier killed, 2 injured in foiled Somalia raid


MOGADISHU, Somalia - The Al-Qaeda-linked Islamist group Al-Shabab claimed victory over a gun battle with Somali and American troops in Southern Somalia, Garowe Online reports.

The group said on Tuesday that one U.S. military officer was killed and two others were injured in what it termed a "botched raid" in Daru-Salam area, about 60km southwest of Mogadishu.

A resident, who asked to remain anonymous, told GO that U.S. and Somali special forces using helicopters swooped into the vicinity, before engaging in a heavy gunfight with the militants.

The operation which took place on Monday night also claimed the lives of six U.S.-trained Somali soldiers from Bancroft, according to Al-Shabab statement posted on its media outlets.

There were no independent sources confirming Al-Shabab's claim as Somali military and the U.S. Africa Command, which oversees operations in the continent are yet to comment on the raid.

Last year, a U.S. serviceman was killed during a covert operation on Al-Shabab in Bariire area in Lower Shabelle region, where has been the hotspot of drone strikes in the past few years.

AFRICOM uses Balli-Doogle airbase in the southern region to launch airstrikes targeting Al-Shabab bastions and hunt the group's key leaders as part of the U.S. fight against terrorism.

The U.S. has also carried out a wave of airstrikes, which led to the killing of many extremists and leaders, including its former leader, Ahmed Abdi Godane, who died in September 2014 raid.

In March 2017, American President Donald Trump shortly after taking the office has approved a Pentagon plan to escalate military operations against al-Shabab and the ISIL-linked Islamists.

Islamist militant group al-Shabab is battling the UN-backed government in Somalia and has carried out a string of attacks across the region.

The group, which is allied to al-Qaeda, has been pushed out of most of the main towns it once controlled since 2011, but it remains a potent threat. 


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