Somali Group: 'Westerners' Attacked Base

TEHRAN (Tasnim) - Somali armed group al-Shabab said that "Westerners" who arrived in boats attacked a house in one of its coastal bases under the cover of night, drawing gunfire from rebel fighters.

Somali Group: 'Westerners' Attacked Base

Foreign forces landed on the beach at Barawe, about 180 km south of Mogadishu, and launched an assault that al-Shabab attempted to repel, Sheikh Abdiasis Abu Musab, spokesman for the armed group's military operations, told Reuters news agency.

"Westerners in boats attacked our base at Barawe beach and one was martyred from our side," Musab said.

It was not immediately clear who had been killed or why the Barawe base had been targeted. Al-Shabab said it carried out an attack on a Kenyan shopping mall two weeks ago that killed at least 67 people.

A Somalia intelligence official told AP the targets were "high-profile" foreigners in the house. The intelligence official said the strike was carried out by a foreign military. Somalia's nascent army does not have the ability to carry out a stealth night-time strike. A second intelligence official also confirmed the attack.

A resident of Barawe town said that heavy gunfire woke people up before dawn prayers. A similar account was given by a government official in Mogadishu who insisted on anonymity.

An al-Shabab member, who gave his name as Abu Mohamed, said fighters rushed to the scene to try to capture a foreign soldier but that they were not successful.

In September 2009, a daylight commando raid carried out by US Navy SEALs in Barawe killed six people, including Saleh Ali Saleh Nabhan, a prominent al-Qaeda member in the region and an alleged plotter in the 1998 bombings at US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania that killed more than 250 people.



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