AL QAEDA

Al Qaeda confirms death of weapons expert

Al Qaeda has confirmed that Abu Khabab al-Masri, an Egyptian chemist and weapons expert considered to be one of the group's top bomb-makers, was killed in a suspected U.S. air strike in Pakistan's border region last week.

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DUBAI - 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.

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