One U.S. special operations soldier is dead and four wounded after al-Qaida linked militants attacked an outpost still under construction Friday in southwestern Somalia.
Friday's attack, about 50 kilometers north of the port city of Kismayo, came as U.S. forces were helping Somali and Kenyan troops construct the outpost, part of a multi-day mission to help clear the area of militants with the al Shabab terror group, according to U.S. military officials.
Witnesses said the attack took place while the U.S. Somali and Kenyan troops were digging trenches and setting up other defenses. They said the militants first set off a series of explosions before targeting the forces with heavy gunfire and mortar rounds
Despite the attack, U.S. officials say the Somali and Kenyan forces were able to complete the outpost, and that the Somali government will be able to use it to push al Shabab from the region.
The death of the U.S. soldier in Somalia is the second in the last two years.