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Presumed head of al-Qaeda in east Africa killed in Mogadishu


Kenyan police have confirmed the death on Tuesday of the presumed head of al-Qaeda in east Africa, Fazul Abdullah Muhammad. He is reported to have been killed at a roadblock on the north western outskirts of the Somali capital, Mogadishi. 


A senior commander from the Somali Islamist Shebab rebels also confirmed the death. He told the French news agency earlier this week on condition of anonymity that two men were killed in the incident and one of them was Fazul Abdullah.


Fazul Abdullah was born in the Comoros Islands and joined al-Qaeda in 1991. He was believed to be behind the July 1998 US embassy bombings in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam that killed a total of 224 people. He is listed on the FBI’s most-wanted list.

From 2002, he was put in charge of al-Qaeda’s operation in the whole of east Africa. The same year he planned anti-Israeli attacks in Mombasa that left 15 dead.

Contrary to normal practice, the bodies of the two men were picked up by the Somali intelligence services and given to US officials for indentification.

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