The attack by suspected Al-Shabaab militants occurred on Friday in Somalia's southern Jubaland province, where a small joint US-Somali outpost came under small arms and mortar fire, US defense officials said.
The death is the first USA combat death in Africa since an ambush a year ago by ISIS-aligned fighters in Niger left four US soldiers dead and prompted questions over whether American troops in the region had proper support.
Witnesses said the attack took place near the town of Sanguni, while the US and Somali troops were digging trenches and setting up other defenses.
At least one U.S. special forces solider was killed and four USA service members were wounded after an enemy attack in Somalia.
Militants affiliated with al-Shabab have threatened to conduct attacks against the United States, and the us military has said the group poses a direct threat to USA interests and allies in the region.
"One of the wounded US service members received sufficient medical care in the field", the statement says.
A US Africa Command statement said the four were in the care of the US embassy in Kenya, awaiting transport "for additional medical evaluation".
A military official told AFP the dead American was a special operations commando, but further details were not being released pending notification of next of kin.
"We also injured four USA soldiers", Abdiasis Abu Musab, al Shabaab's military operations spokesman, told Reuters on late Friday. The group was blamed for the truck bombing in Mogadishu in October that killed more than 500 people and raised concerns about al-Shabaab's ability to build ever-larger explosives.
"My thoughts and prayers are with the families of our serviceman who was killed and his fellow servicemen who were wounded in Somolia".
The United States has intensified efforts in Somalia during the past two years, picking up the pace of drone strikes.
The group used to control most parts of the country, but since 2010, its fighters have been removed from most major towns and cities. Since 2007, Al-Shabaab has been fighting to overthrow the internationally backed government in Somalia.
US military operations in Africa have come under greater scrutiny since an October 4 ambush by Islamic State militants in the West African country of Niger left four USA soldiers dead.
A Pentagon investigation into the Niger attack, parts of which were made public last month, found multiple failures but none that directly caused the ambush by Islamic State group-linked fighters.
Morgan chief executive Jamie Dimon appeared on CNBC on Thursday to discuss why he doesn't think tariffs are the way to go. Dimon has blasted excessive reporting requirements and the short-term focus of quarterly earnings.
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