Hamza bin Laden, son of former al-Qaeda leader Osama, killed in US operation

Hamza bin Laden, son of al-Qaeda leader Osama, is dead, the White House confirmed. Credit: AP

Hamza bin Laden, the son of the late al-Qaeda leader who had become an increasingly prominent figure in the terrorist organisation, has been killed in a US counter-terrorism operation in the Afghanistan-Pakistan region.

A White House statement confirmed earlier speculation of his demise but gave no further details, such as when Hamza bin Laden was killed or how the United States had confirmed his death.

The statement said Hamza bin Laden's death "not only deprives al-Qaeda of important leadership skills and the symbolic connection to his father, but undermines important operational activities of the group".

In August, three unnamed US officials reported that Hamza was dead, although there was no comment from on-the-record sources.

Osama bin Laden was also killed in a US operation, in 2011. Credit: AP

As leader of al-Qaeda, Osama bin Laden and others plotted the attacks of September 11, 2001.

US Navy SEALs killed him in a raid on a house in Abbottabad, Pakistan, in 2011.

In February, the US State Department announced it would pay as much as $1 million (£825,000) for information on Hamza bin Laden's whereabouts.

The department's Rewards for Justice Program described the younger bin Laden on Twitter as "an emerging al-Qaeda leader" who "has threatened attacks against the United States and allies".