An American Soldier Among Foreigners Killed by Al Shabaab in Somalia

KISMAYO, Somalia — The Al Qaeda-affiliated Al Shabaab Islamic extremists have claimed to have killed at least five foreign soldiers, including an American, in an attack in southern Somalia on Wednesday, August 17, 2016.

The attack took place at Abdalla Biroole area, a main Al Shabaab stronghold, located approximately 40 kilometers west of Kismayo, a seaside city in Somalia’s southern Lower Jubba province, according to an Al Shabaab statement.

The foreign forces are Kenyan Soldiers serving under the African Union Mission In Somalia known as AMISOM, and American troops who are supporting Somali and AU troops in the war on Al Shabaab fighters. 

Andalus Radio, a mouthpiece channel that broadcasts Al Shabaab propaganda, said the attack happened when heavily armed militants laid an ambush on military vehicles moving out of Abdalla Biroole.

 “Today (Wednesday) our Mujahideen fighters have carried out a successful ambush attack on the foreign crusaders and Somali apostates outside Abdalla Biroole village and killed five soldiers, among them a U.S. elite soldier,” read the Al Shabaab statement.

Meanwhile, Capt Mohamed Hassan, a Somali army commander in nearby area, told ArmedPolitics by phone that the attack was followed by multiple explosions thought to be roadside bombs targeted on the allied forces, comprising of Somali commandos, Kenyan defense forces, and U.S. soldiers.

Abdalla Biroole and other rural villages near Kismayo city are remote outposts in southern Somalia that have become notorious hide-outs for the Al Shabaab militants for seven years.

The Unites States of America has sent elite troops acting as military advisers to the Horn of Africa, conflict-riddled Somalia, who are accompanying Somali and AU forces in the fight against Al Shabaab.

UPDATE: AFRICOM denied that a US soldier was killed in the attack.

However, the Pentagon has not commented on the death of American Soldier in Somalia.

Last week, Somali forces, backed by American soldiers, have killed several high-ranking Al Shabaab Commanders in airstrike on Sakow town in the middle of the Jubba region of southern Somalia.

Rumors have been circulating in Somalia that Al Shabaab’s new leader, Ahmed Omar Abu Ubaidah, and other key figures were killed in a U.S. airstrike in Saakow town in Southern Somalia last week.

Despite being driven out of Mogadishu and major ground in south and central Somalia in 2011, Al Shabaab still poses security threats to the East Africa countries, including Kenya and Uganda, according to a report by IGAD on Monday.

By Omar Nor, ArmedPolitics.

Omar Nor is senior reporter in the field covering the vast East Africa region, focusing on  political issues including scenarios of conflict, with a special focus on Al-Shabaab. Follow Omar on Twitter at @Omaar_nor