Report: Navy Seals Aborted Somalian Raid Because Children Were Present

The covert operation was intended to capture a terrorist there

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A special operations force cut short its mission to capture a terror suspect in Somalia Friday in part because a group of children unexpectedly showed up, NBC reports.

The Pentagon acknowledged Monday that the U.S. attempted and failed to captureĀ Ikrima, a Kenyan of Somali origin linked to the Somali terrorĀ organizationĀ al-Shabab.

Citing military sources, NBC says sailors from the elite Seal Team 6 snuck onto the beach, arrived at the compound and identified Ikrima before being spotted by an al-Shabab fighter. That fighter called in others and began firing, putting the special operations team under siege. The Seal Team withdrew back to the beach in part because it believed a sustained firefight would endanger a group of nearby children, according to NBC.

The team withdrew uninjured, NBC reports.

In a statement, Pentagon Press Secretary George Little said, “While the operation did not result in Ikrima’s capture, U.S. military personnel conducted the operation with unparalleled precision and demonstrated that the United States can put direct pressure on al-Shabaab leadership at any time of our choosing.”

–With reporting from Zeke Miller

[NBC News]