Army says soldier from Arizona killed in Somalia

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Staff Sgt. Alexander W. Conrad (Source: Department of Defense) Staff Sgt. Alexander W. Conrad (Source: Department of Defense)
MOGADISHU, Somalia (AP) -

The Defense Department says a 26-year-old soldier from Arizona has died from wounds suffered in Somalia.

In a statement issued in Washington, the Defense Department identified the soldier as Staff Sgt. Alexander W. Conrad of Chandler, Arizona. The statement says he died Friday of injuries sustained from enemy indirect fire.

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey has ordered state flags to be flown at half-staff in honor of Conrad from Sunday through Monday.

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

The military said earlier that four other U.S. service members were wounded in an extremist attack in Somalia. 

A U.S. Africa Command statement says the four wounded are now in the care of the U.S. Embassy medical team in neighboring Kenya. They await transport "for additional medical evaluation."

Names of the soldiers have not been released while the U.S. notifies next of kin.

U.S. troops with Somali and Kenyan forces came under mortar and small-arms fire Friday in Jubaland. One "partner force member" also was wounded.

It was the first public announcement of a U.S. military combat death in Africa since four U.S. service members were killed in a militant ambush in the West African nation of Niger in October.

Conrad's friend, Samuel Rogers, sent us the following statement:

He was a thoughtful, compassionate soldier and leader who enjoyed helping people and taking care of his troops. His smile and laugh were infectious, along with his penchant for satirical parkour. While he took his work seriously, he never took himself too seriously, and the world is a little darker without him in it. I miss him.


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