Foreign military forces appear to have carried out a pre-dawn raid on a southern Somalian coastal town, apparently in pursuit of “a high-profile target” linked to the militant al-Shabaab group that was behind last month’s Kenyan mall shootings.

The pre-dawn raid – which initial but unconfirmed reports suggested may have involved US troops – took place in Barawe, in the lower Shabelle region 240km south of Mogadishu. It is the same town where US navy commandos killed a senior al-Qaida member four years ago.

The raid comes as Kenya‘s military confirmed the names of four al-Shabaab fighters implicated in the Westgate attack. Major Emmanuel Chirchir said the men were Abu Baara al-Sudani, Omar Nabhan, Khattab al-Kene and Umayr – names that were first broadcast by a local Kenyan television station.

“I confirm those are the names of the terrorist,” he said, in a tweet sent to the Associated Press.

The publication of the identities supports CCTV footage from the Nairobi mall published by a private TV station that shows no more than four attackers, contradicting earlier government statements that between 10 to 15 attackers were involved.

They are seen calmly walking through a storeroom inside the complex, holding machine guns. One of the men’s legs appears to be stained with blood, though he is not limping, and it is unclear if the blood is his. see more 

source: Guardian UK