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(photo: New York Times)

Al Shabaab has claimed responsibility for targeting the elite US-trained Danab force in a roadside explosion about 110 km southwest of Mogadishu on Sunday. The attack killed a French national working with Bancroft Global Development, an American private military company. Two other contractors with the company were injured, as well as two senior Somali Brigade Commanders.

Danab, a Special Ops group, whose name translates to “Lightning”, is Somalia’s equivalent of US Delta Force and SEAL Team Six. While US special operators have supplied advise and assist training to Danab, Bancroft won the most recent contract.

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