It was the first public announcement of a USA military combat death on the continent since four US service members were killed in a militant ambush in the west African nation of Niger in October.
The attack occurred in the Jubaland region, where a large force comprising about 800 Somali, Kenyan and United States troops were clearing a large area of Al Qaeda-affiliated Al Shabab fighters.
A US Defense official confirmed to media that four American soldiers were injured in the attack.
Names of the soldiers have not been released while the USA notifies next of kin.
The US military's Africa Command said in a statement on Friday that the attack occurred in Jubaland, where a large force comprising about 800 Somali, Kenyan and US troops were conducting an operation against al-Shabab fighters.
Traditionally, US presidents have been wary of intervening in Somalia since 18 special forces soldiers died fighting militias in Mogadishu in 1993, a battle dramatised in the film Black Hawk Down.
An Al Shabab spokesman told Reuters it had carried out the attack in the coastal town of Kismayo, and claimed a higher death toll.
GETTYOne member of the “partner forces” was wounded along with four other US troops
A U.S. Africa Command statement says the four wounded are now in the care of the U.S. Embassy medical team in neighboring Kenya.
This is the second US military fatality in Somalia in the a year ago. The U.S. military said its personnel had provided advice, assistance and aerial surveillance during the mission.
Four other service members were wounded.
A suicide vehicle bomb explosion at a military base in Somalia injured seven soldiers late Saturday, a military official said, and Islamist group al Shabaab claimed responsibility for the attack.
That prudence included steps to make sure that USA forces in Niger had access to more armored vehicles, additional firepower, and more drones for surveillance and reconnaissance.
The population in the region had historically supported the government, and the Somali forces had prepared for this mission by coordinating heavily with and securing the support of local authorities ahead of time, officials said.
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