A raid by US special forces in Somalia has killed more than 10 al-Shabab fighters, officials say.
Al-Shabab has said it “fought off” an attack by foreign forces but US officials said several militants were killed in the raid on Wednesday.
Although Somali government officials and an al-Shabab spokesperson have both confirmed the raid, they have differed on the number of casualties involved.
It was a high-profile target, and chances of capture were challenged by a stiff resistance by militants guarding the house targeted by the special forces, which forced the commando to resort to the kill or capture method.
According to a government spokesperson, 15 militants were killed in the raid but the al-Qaeda linked group said only one of their fighters was killed.
The US-led operation targeted an al-Shabab base near the town of Awdhegele, some 50 kilometers from the Somali capital, Mogadishu.
Wednesday’s raid according to a Somali intelligence official targeted a ‘high profile’ individual who was killed.
“It was a high-profile target, and chances of capture were challenged by a stiff resistance by militants guarding the house targeted by the special forces, which forced the commando to resort to the kill or capture method,” the official said.
US officials said the American special operations forces partnered with Somali soldiers in the raid.
The assault comes after the US said it conducted air strikes on an al-Shabab training camp on Saturday killing 150 militants – a number disputed by group.
Al-Shabab is battling the Western-backed Somali government to establish Islamic rule in that country. Local forces fighting the group have been backed by an African Union mission made up of forces from several African nations.