Culture&Arts

Virginia Beach-based Navy SEAL killed in Somalia

Virginia Beach-based Navy SEAL killed in Somalia

Milliken is the first U.S. serviceman to die in Somalia since 1993, when American soldiers fought militia groups in the capital city, a story retold in a book and a film, both titled Black Hawk Down.

"US forces are assisting partner forces to counter al Shabaab in Somalia to degrade the al Qaeda affiliate's ability to recruit, train and plot external terror attacks throughout the region and in America", according to a news release from US Africa Command.

Washington has insisted that Shabaab poses a grave threat to United States security, and has also launched attacks on nearby Yemen where al-Qaeda have established a stronghold.

A Somali intelligence official confirmed the United States military operation, saying US forces in helicopters raided an al-Shabab hideout near the Somali capital on Thursday night and engaged with fighters. "It is a victory for the Somali forces and for peacemaking", the statement added.

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Somalia's military is under growing pressure to take full responsibility for the long-chaotic country's security as a multinational African Union force prepares to start withdrawing in 2018.

He was assisting in a Somali National Army-led operation with U.S. Africa Command in which two other service members were wounded. He was a career Navy SEAL, graduated from University of CT and resided in the Oceanfront community. The Pentagon said two other service members were wounded.

Al-Shabab via its Shahada News Agency claimed it had thwarted "an air landing operation by US special forces", with a number of them killed or wounded, the SITE Intelligence Group reported.

"Senior Chief Kyle Milliken embodied the warrior spirit and toughness infused in our very best Navy SEALs", his commander Rear Admiral Timothy Szymanski said in a statement. That incident, which became known as "Black Hawk Down", generated a firestorm of criticism for the Clinton administration, prompting the withdrawal of US troops from Somalia and the resignation of then-Defense Sec.

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In a statement by the Information Ministry the government says the operation on May 5 was conducted by the Somali national security forces.

The mission was authorized under orders given by the Obama administration.

Milliken, 38, of Falmouth, Maine, was the first American to die in combat in Somalia since 1993. In the wake of recent elections, the weak government is struggling to fend off the ongoing threat from al-Shabab, which aims to establish its own conservative Islamist state, and from a newer Islamic State presence.

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