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US military: 4 soldiers wounded in Somalia treated, in Kenya

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Staff Sgt. Bryan Black and his sons Isaac and Ezekiel

Four U.S. servicemembers who were wounded in an extremist attack in Somalia that killed one special operations soldier have been treated and discharged, the U.S. military said Saturday.

"We attacked a military base. killed one USA soldier, two Kenyan soldiers and nine Somali soldiers from Jubbaland state".

In early 2017, President Trump approved expanded military operations against al-Shabab, leading to an increase in US military personnel to more than 500 and the launch of dozens of drone strikes.

Witnesses said the attack took place near the town of Sanguni, where the US and Somali troops were digging trenches and setting up other defenses.

The troops had been on a mission to clear al-Shabab from contested areas as well as villages the armed group's fighters controlled "and establish a permanent combat outpost" to expand the reach of the Somali state, the USA military's Africa Command said.

Kenyan military spokesman David Obonyo told Reuters that its forces were not involved in any operations in Somalia on Friday.

President Trump on Friday expressed his condolences to the family of a US soldier killed in Somalia earlier in the day, calling him and other wounded soldiers "HEROES".

Trump's tweet came just a few hours after the military officials reported the Special Operations agent's death, stating that one other service member had been wounded in an enemy attack.

According to AFP, Ali Mohamed Moalin, a traditional elder who lives close to Afgoye in Lower Shabelle where the raid took place, said five "innocent farmers" were killed. The US said no civilians were killed during the strikes.

This was the first public announcement of a USA military combat death in Africa since four US servicemembers were killed in a militant ambush in the West African nation of Niger in October.

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. The group was pushed out of the capital, Mogadishu, in 2011 but still controls some regions of the country. The group has a history of fighting Somalia's government since the 1990s.

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