Navy Seals raided the Somali coastal town of Barawe early Friday morning in search of "high-profile" al-Qaeda-linked targets at the home of an al-Shabab leader, but ended the attack after heavy resistance.
SEAL Team Six, the same team which raided the Osama Bin Laden compound
and killed the terrorist leader in May 2011, was unable to seize any targets during the raid, after being driven back by significant resistance and reportedly being unwilling to risk collateral damage to achieve their objective.
"U.S. personnel took all necessary precautions to avoid civilian casualties and disengaged after inflicting some al-Shabab casualties," a U.S. official told the Washington Post
speaking on condition of anonymity considering it was a covert operation. "We are not in a position to identify those casualties."
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The raid is believed to have been in response to the recent mall massacre in Kenya, Britain's Daily Mail reported
On Sept. 21, al-Shabab terrorists killed more than 70 individuals
, while wounding another 200-plus in Kenya's Westgate shopping mall.
Although the pentagon would not say who was killed in the pre-dawn Somali raid on Friday, a senior leader of a militant group responsible for the deadly mall attack
was believed to have been one of those killed by the Navy SEALs, U.S. officials said.
The raid along the Somali coastline on Friday was 20 years to the day of the failed U.S. mission commonly referred to as Black Hawk Down, in which a team primarily consisting of U.S. Army Rangers attempted to capture a Somali warlord.
The mission went south after an RPG shot down a Black Hawk helicopter, leading to a prolonged fight in the streets of the nation's capital of Mogadishu, that left 18 Americans dead and 73 wounded.
In addition to Friday's apparently unsuccessful raid in Somalia, U.S. operatives were able to nab a key al-Qaeda member, Nazih Abdul-Hamed al-Ruqai, in Libya on Saturday.
Al-Ruqai, who works under the alias Anas al-Libi, is believed to have been involved in the 1998 U.S. embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania.
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Describing the capture of al-Ruqai as a "kidnapping," Libya’s government said Sunday that it had not been consulted prior to the U.S. operation, and that the al-Queda member should be tried on Libyan soil.
Reacting to Friday's raid in Somalia and Saturday's capture of al-Ruqai in Libya, Secretary of State John Kerry said the operations showed that the U.S. was still a threat to al-Qaeda
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