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Trump confirms death of Al Qaeda heir Hamza bin Laden

US President Donald Trump on Saturday confirmed that Hamza bin Laden, the son and designated heir of Al-Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden, was killed in a counter-terrorism operation in the Afghanistan-Pakistan region.

Trump said in a brief statement issued by the White House “the loss of Hamza bin Laden not only deprives Al Qaeda of important leadership skills and the symbolic connection to his father, but undermines important operational activities of the group.”

The statement did not specify the timing of the operation.

US media reported in late July and early August, citing intelligence officials, that the younger Bin Laden had been killed sometime in the last two years in an operation that involved the United States.

US officials told media that the administration wanted to make sure it explored all angles and gathered all of the intelligence it could before making the announcement.

The 15th of Osama bin Laden’s 20 children and a son of his third wife, Hamza, thought to be about 30 years old, was “emerging as a leader in the Al Qaeda franchise”, the State Department said in announcing a $1 million bounty on his head in February 2019 — perhaps after his actual demise.

Hamza had issued calls for attacks on the United States and other countries, especially to avenge his father’s killing by US forces in Pakistan in May 2011, the department said.

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