A US Navy SEAL has been killed during an operation targeting the Islamic militant group al-Shabaab in Somalia, according to reports Friday.
“US forces were conducting an advise and assist mission alongside members of the Somali National Army,” the US Africa Command said in a statement about the raid, which took place Thursday about 40 miles west of Mogadishu.
The statement did not specify which branch of the military the service member served in, but a Defense Department official told the New York Times that he was a SEAL team member.
A US official told CBS News that two other Americans were wounded in the same firefight.
“We continue to support our Somali and regional partners to systematically dismantle this al Qaeda affiliate, and help them to achieve stability and security throughout the region as part of the global counterterrorism effort,” the Africa Command statement said.
“Al-Shabaab presents a threat to Americans and American interests,” the statement added. “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.”
The US military has carried out airstrikes against the terror group in Somalia for years.
In 2012, Navy SEALs launched a daring raid to rescue an American woman and a Danish man who had been held by al-Shabaab for months.