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Al Qaeda No. 2 ‘killed in US drone strike’

Washington: Al Qaedas alleged deputy leader Abu Khayr al-Masri was killed in a drone strike in northwest Syria, US-based terrorism-tracking website SITE Intelligence said on Monday, citing jihadist sources.

The 59-year-old Egyptian national, the deputy of Al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri in Syria died in the US drone strike near the city of Idlib, according to the report.

On Monday, the Pentagon confirmed it carried out a strike in northwest Syria on Sunday but did not say who the attack had targeted.

Photos posted on social media show a car with a gaping hole in its roof after the attack but its windscreen mostly intact. Activists from the Britain-based watchdog Syrian Observatory for Human Rights also reported al-Masri’s death.

Al-Masri, a son-in-law of late Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, was implicated in the 1998 bombings of two US embassies in Tanzania and Kenya in which more than 200 people, mostly civilians, died.

He was part of the global jihadist organisation for three decades and was one of Al Qaeda’s most senior leaders. He fought alongside bin Laden in Afghanistan and was a veteran of conflicts in Egypt, Bosnia, Afghanistan and Pakistan according to terrorism experts.

He was born Abdullah Muhammad Rajab abd al-Rahman in Kafr al-Shaykh, Egypt, on November 3, 1957, according to the US Treasury Department.

–IANS