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    Al-Qaeda heir Hamza bin Laden killed in air strike: US media

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    Al-Qaeda heir Hamza bin Laden killed in air strike: US media
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    Washington: Slain al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden's son Hamza, the potential heir of the global terror group, has been killed in an air strike, US media reported, citing intelligence officials.

    The US has obtained intelligence that Hamza bin Laden, is dead, NBC News quoted three unnamed American officials as saying.

    The officials would not provide details of where or when Hamza died or if the US played a role in his death, the report said on Wednesday.

    Asked by reporters whether the US had intelligence that Hamza is dead, President Donald Trump said, "I don't want to comment on that."        

    Hamza's last known public statement was released by al Qaeda's media arm in 2018. In that message, he threatened Saudi Arabia and called on the people of the Arabian peninsula to revolt. Saudi Arabia stripped him of his citizenship in March this year.

    A US official told CNN that the government recently received evidence to corroborate Hamza's death.

    The New York Times reported that Hamza was killed in an operation within the last two years.

    Earlier this year the US State Department called Hamza bin Laden, who is believed to be in his early 30s, an "emerging" leader in the terror group al Qaeda, offering a million-dollar reward for information leading to his capture.

    The State Department said items seized from the elder bin Laden's hiding place in the Pakistani garrison city of Abbottabad during the Navy SEAL raid that resulted in his death in May 2011 indicated he was grooming Hamza to replace him as al Qaeda's leader.

    He married the daughter of a senior al Qaeda leader who was charged by a federal grand jury for his role in the August 7, 1998, bombings of the US embassies in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and Nairobi, Kenya.

    He was believed to have been under house arrest in Iran, although other reports suggest he may have been based near the Afghan-Pakistani border, the BBC reported.

    He is thought to have been born in Jeddah in Saudi Arabia before spending years with his mother in Iran.

    There was no confirmation from al-Qaeda about the reports on Hamza's death. Supporters of the Islamist militant group have urged caution over the reports and are awaiting an official announcement from its leaders, according to analysts at BBC Monitoring.

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