Residents of a southern Somali town say unidentified foreign troops launched a "failed" pre-dawn attack Saturday on an al-Shabab "safe house."
Sources told VOA Somali that a top al-Qaida militant with al-Shabab was the target of the attack in Brava, 250 kilometers south of the capital, Mogadishu. Brava is under the control of al-Shabab.
The identity of the al-Qaida militant was not immediately clear.
Witnesses say the militants guarding the house were able to fight off the troops. The witnesses say one rebel fighter died in the attack.
Residents say some troops descended from helicopters, while others arrived on boats.
Al-Shabab, an al-Qaida-linked group, has claimed responsibility for an attack on a Kenyan shopping mall two weeks ago, killing scores of people. The militants have vowed to carry out other acts of violence against Kenya.
Al-Shabab demands that Kenyan forces withdraw from Somalia. Kenyan forces entered neighbouring Somalia two years ago to help fight the militant group, which has been fighting to turn Somalia into a strict Islamic state.