US drone attack kills senior jihadi leader in Libya

Tripoli/Tunis, July 3 (IANS) A US drone strike in Libya has killed senior jihadi leader Abu Iyadh, who was believed to have masterminded a series of terrorist plots inside and outside the North African country, including an attack on the US embassy in Tunisia, Libyan media confirmed on Friday.

Iyadh, also known as Seifallah Ben Hassine, had been based in Libya since 2013, where he served as a senior militant leader in Islamist group Ansar al-Sharia, and organised training camps for extremist militants.

Libya’s Al-Wasat paper quoted a Washington official as saying that Iyadh was neutralised during a US raid on June 14, along with some other Al Qaeda-linked leaders.

The source added that Iyadh’s killing was announced after his body was identified through a DNA analysis.

Iyadh’s death was hailed as an important victory against terrorism by Libya’s neighbouring Tunisia whose beach resort Sousse was attacked by Libya-trained extremists last Friday, Xinhua news agency reported.

In March, 23 people were killed and around 50 injured when militants attacked a Tunisian museum.

Tunisian authorities blamed many of the attacks on terror cells established by Iyadh in Tunisia after the country’s political unrest in 2011.

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