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Somali Militants: Western Forces Raid Base

Somali al Shabaab militants said on Saturday British and Turkish Special Forces had raided a coastal town overnight, killing a rebel fighter, but that a British officer had also been killed and others wounded.

A British Defense Ministry spokeswoman said: "We are not aware of any British involvement in this at all."

A Turkish Foreign Ministry official denied any Turkish part in such an action.

A Somali intelligence official said the target of the raid on Shabab's stronghold in the small southern coastal town of Barawe was a Chechen commander, who had been wounded and his guard killed. A total of seven people were killed, said police.

It was not clear whether the assault was related to the attack on a Kenyan mall two weeks ago, which the al Qaeda-linked group said it carried out and which killed at least 67. Nor was there any independent confirmation of what forces were involved.

Both U.S. and French forces have carried out similar raids in the past. The French army denied involvement and the Pentagon declined to comment.