Elizabeth Weise, USA TODAY
A team of Navy SEALS has seized a senior leader of the al-Shabab militant group in Somalia in a daring predawn attack, the New York Times and NBC Newsreported Saturday.
The raid was in response to the al-Shabab attack on a Nairobi shopping mall two weeks ago. Al-Shabab, a militant Islamic group, has claimed responsibility for the action, which killed at least 67 people.
Pentagon spokesman George Little declined to comment on the raid when reached by the British newspaper The Guardian.
The Times reported that the SEALs raided a seaside villa where al-Shabab members were staying, in the Somali town of Baraawe. The firefight lasted more than an hour.Somali officials told the newspaper that the government had been informed of the raid.
An al-Shabab spokesman told the paper that one fighter had been killed in the attack but that the American assault had been beaten back. The condition of the SEAL team is unknown.
U.S. officials have been concerned that al-Shabab might attempt attacks in the United States and have sought to weaken the group.