CBS News reports that Staff Sgt. Alexander W. Conrad, 26, of Chandler, Arizona, was killed in the line of duty in Somalia after an ambush attack by the Islamic terror group known as al-Shabab. He has been posthumously awarded the Purple Heart and Meritorious Service Medal.
Conrad was assigned to 1st Battalion, 3rd Special Forces Group, Fort Bragg, North Carolina. According to Reuters, he had received numerous awards and was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart and Meritorious Service Medal.
Reuters also reported that Conrad was previously deployed to Afghanistan twice in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, for a total of more than 13 months.
Four other individuals were injured as well but are expected to recover
A U.S. Africa Command statement said the four were in the care of the U.S. Embassy medical team in neighboring Kenya. They were awaiting transport "for additional medical evaluation."
Friday's attack in Jubaland is likely to put renewed scrutiny on America's counterterror operations in Africa.
U.S. troops with Somali and Kenyan forces came under mortar and small-arms fire and one "partner force member" also was wounded in the attack about 350 kilometers southwest of the capital, Mogadishu, the U.S. military said.
The al-Qaeda-linked al-Shabaab extremist group, which is based in Somalia and controls parts of the country's rural south and central regions, claimed responsibility. The group was blamed for the truck bombing in Mogadishu in October that killed more than 500 people and raised concerns about al-Shabab's ability to build ever-larger explosives.
Friday's joint operation was part of a multi-day mission including about 800 Somali and Kenyan troops. The U.S. said its personnel had provided advice, assistance and aerial surveillance during the mission.
As reported on Friday, President Trump issued the following message for Conrad's family.
My thoughts and prayers are with the families of our serviceman who was killed and his fellow servicemen who were wounded in Somalia. They are truly all HEROES.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 9, 2018