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Al-Qaeda confirms death of top bomb maker

A suspected US air targeted Pakistan tribal area

Published:

Al-Qaeda confirmed on Sunday that Abu Khabab al-Masri, a chemical and biological weapons expert, was killed with three other militants in a suspected U.S. air strike in Pakistan's border region last week.

Masri, who carried a $5 million U.S. bounty on his head, had been earlier identified as the likely target of the attack on a house in a Pakistani tribal area bordering Afghanistan, according to Pakistani officials.

An al Qaeda statement posted on Islamist websites said Masri, referred to as the "expert", had left behind him a generation of students who would avenge his killing.

The statement, signed by al Qaeda's leader in Afghanistan, Mustafa Abu al-Yazid, named three other militants killed alongside Masri on July 28. It said some of their children also died.

On Saturday, a Pakistani Taliban spokesman denied a U.S. media report that al-Qaeda number two, Ayman al-Zawahri, had been killed in what was believed to be the same U.S. missile strike that killed Masri.

Masri, a 55-year-old Egyptian chemist, was regarded as one of the group's top bomb makers.