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Image courtesy: Department of Defense

Kyle Milliken, 38, identified as the Navy SEAL who died during a raid in Somalia


UPDATE May 6, 4:22 p.m. EST:

The Defense Department identified Senior Chief Special Warfare Operator Kyle Milliken, 38, as the NAVY Seal who died during a raid on an al-Shabab compound on Thursday, according to a statement released on Saturday. He was assigned to an East Coast based special warfare unit.

Rear Admiral Timothy Szymanski, commander of the Naval Special Warfare Command, said that Milliken "embodied the warrior spirit and toughness infused in our very best Navy SEALs."

"His sacrifice is a stark reminder that Naval Special Operators are forward doing their job, confronting terrorism overseas to prevent evil from reaching our shores," Szymanski added.

ORIGINAL STORY: A U.S. Navy SEAL was killed in Somalia during an operation against the extremist group al-Shabab, according to the Associated Press. It's believed to be the first combat death there in more than two decades when two U.S. helicopters had been shot down in the Battle of Mogadishu.

"We do not believe there has been a case where a U.S. service member has been killed in combat action in Somalia since the incident there in 1993," U.S. Africa Command spokesman Patrick Barnes said Friday. 

The incident, which also wounded two others, occurred on Thursday about 40 miles west of Mogadishu, CNN reported. One of the wounded included an interpreter who was also a U.S. citizen. The injured are currently undergoing medical attention.

The U.S. special operations troops came under fire after U.S. aircraft delivered Somali forces to the target area, a Pentagon spokesman, Navy Capt. Jeff Davis, told reporters. 

U.S. forces were part of an ongoing military program to advise and assist Somali ground forces. It was not part of an intensified mission in Somalia to conduct airstrikes and ground missions against terror threats.

"This was done under the same authorities that we've had since we began our operations there in 2013, which is to advise and assist on these types of missions," Davis said.

According to a Somali intelligence official, U.S. forces killed at least six people during the raid on a compound housing the al-Shabab extremist group's Andalus radio station at a farm near Dare Salaam village.


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