The presumed head of Al-Qaeda in east Africa, Comoros-born Fazul Abdullah Muhammad, was killed Wednesday in Mogadishu, Kenya's police chief said on Saturday, confirming a report from Somali Islamist Shebab rebels.
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"We have received that communication from authorities in Somalia. We have been told that there were two terrorists who were killed in Somalia on Wednesday last week," Kenyan Police Commissioner Mathew Iteere told AFP on Saturday.
A US official later confirmed the report, saying his country has "strong grounds" to believe that Muhammad was dead, AFP reported.
Iteere said the identity of one of the two had "been given as Fazul Muhammad ... That is what we have been told by our counterparts in Somalia," Iteere said.
"One of the men that was killed near Mogadishu was Fazul Abdullah, may Allah bless his soul. He is not dead as thousands like him are still in the fight against the enemy of Allah," a senior Al Shebab commander had earlier told AFP on condition of anonymity.
In 1998, Muhammad was linked to terror attacks on US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, in which 224 people died.
He was also among the masterminds of the November 2002 attack on a hotel and airliner in Mombasa, India that killed 15 people, including Israelis.
The United States had placed a $5 million bounty on Muhammad's head.
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