Military strike by 'foreign' soldiers reported in southern Somali town against militants

A government official, a militant fighter and a town resident say a foreign military power has carried out a strike in southern Somalia.

The resident of Barawe town said by telephone that heavy gunfire woke up residents before dawn prayers. The resident, who insisted on anonymity out of fear for his life, had no other details.

The al-Shabab fighter, who gave his name as Abu Mohamed, said "foreign" soldiers attacked a house in Barawe. Mohamed said militants rushed to the scene to capture a foreign soldier but were not successful.

A similar account was given by a government official in Mogadishu who insisted on anonymity.

Foreign militaries — often the U.S. but not always — have carried out several strikes inside Somalia in recent years against al-Shabab or al-Qaida leaders.