MOGADISHU, Somalia — U.S. Navy SEALs carried out a pre-dawn raid Saturday on a coastal town in southern Somalia looking for a specific al-Qaida suspect linked to the Nairobi shopping mall attack, but did not get their target, a U.S. military official told The Associated Press.
A former U.S. military official also confirmed the raid by the SEALs, but no other details have been provided. Both spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the raid by name. The Pentagon declined comment.
In Somalia, officials said international military forces carried out a pre-dawn strike Saturday against foreign fighters in the town of Barawe. Officials said the strike was aimed at "high-profile" targets.
The strike was carried out in the hours before morning prayers in Barawe, the same town where Navy SEALs four years ago killed a most-wanted al-Qaida operative, the officials said.
The strike comes exactly two weeks after al-Shabab militants attacked Nairobi's Westgate Mall, a four-day terrorist assault that killed at least 67 people in neighboring Kenya.
The leader of al-Shabab, Mukhtar Abu Zubeyr, also known as Ahmed Godane, claimed responsibility for the Nairobi attack and said it was in retaliation for Kenya's military deployment inside Somalia to prevent a takeover by the militant Islamic Somali group.