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3rd Special Forces Group soldier killed in Somalia was based at Fort Bragg, officials say

FORT BRAGG, N.C. (WNCN/CBS News/AP) - A Fort Bragg soldier was the special operations member who died in an attack in Somalia on Friday, the Pentagon said Saturday night.

Staff Sgt. Alexander W. Conrad, 26, of Chandler, Arizona, died of injuries sustained from indirect enemy fire, a news release said. The incident is under investigation.

Conrad was assigned to 1st Battalion, 3rd Special Forces Group at Fort Bragg.

Four U.S. service members were also wounded in an "enemy attack" in Somalia.

  U.S. Africa Command says in a statement that U.S. troops with Somalian and Kenyan forces came under mortar and small-arms fire Friday in Jubaland, Somalia, at around 2.45 p.m. local time.

One member of the "partner forces" was wounded. One of the wounded U.S. service members received sufficient medical care in the field, and the other three were medically evacuated for additional treatment.

Conrad joined the U.S. Army on June 1, 2010. He was stationed at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington, as a Human Intelligence Collector.

 Conrad deployed to Afghanistan twice in support of Operation Enduring Freedom – once for nine months from 2012-2013, and once for four months in 2014.

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Conrad was posthumously awarded a Purple Heart and Meritorious Service Medal.

Officials did not identify the attackers but say a larger force of Somalian and Kenyan troops were conducting an operation against al-Shabab militants.

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, part of a multi-day mission including about 800 Somali and Kenyan troops, aimed to clear al-Shabab from contested areas.

The US said its personnel had provided advice, assistance and aerial surveillance during the mission.

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