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US military suspends 2 special operations members in Africa

JOHANNESBURG — The U.S. military says the head of Special Operations Command Africa has suspended a regional commander and an enlisted adviser over alleged misconduct and sent them back to the United States.

SOCA spokesman Maj. Casey Osborne tells The Associated Press the suspension of the Special Operations Command Forward-East Africa commander and the adviser happened Thursday. He gave no details.

The U.S. has about 1,000 special operations personnel in Africa. Those in East Africa largely assist in countering the Somalia-based al-Shabab extremist group.

Spokeswoman Lt. Jacqui Maxwell with Naval Special Warfare Group 2 tells the AP that the suspended personnel were assigned to an East Coast-based unit and that NSW and the Naval Criminal Investigative Service are investigating.

Maxwell did not give details about the alleged misconduct, citing the ongoing investigation.

However, other news outlets report that the two senior Navy SEAL leaders were sent stateside pending a sexual assault and harassment investigation. One of the senior leaders is accused of inappropriately touching a female service member.

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