US President Donald Trump on Saturday confirmed that Hamza bin Laden, the son of slain Al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden, was killed in a counter-terrorism operation along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border.
“Hamza bin Laden, a high-ranking Al Qaeda member was killed in a US counterterrorism operation in the Afghanistan-Pakistan region,” Trump said in a statement issued by the White House.
US media reported more than a month ago, citing intelligence officials, that Hamza bin Laden had been killed sometime in the last two years in an operation that involved the US.
Last month, Secretary of Defense Mark Esper had said that it was his understanding that Bin Laden was dead. But President Trump had not publicly confirmed the news until Saturday.
“The loss of Hamza bin Laden not only deprives Al Qaeda of important leadership skills and the symbolic connection to his father but undermines important operational activities of the group,” the statement said.
However, the statement did not specify the timing of the operation.
Hamza, the 15th of Osama bin Laden’s 20 children and a son of his third wife, was emerging as a leader in the terrorist organization after his father was killed in a raid by U.S. Navy SEALs in Pakistan in 2011, according to US officials.
Hamza bin Laden was responsible for planning and dealing with various terrorist groups, reports said.