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Al Qaeda heir Hamza bin Laden killed: US media

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WASHINGTONThe chosen heir to the leadership of terror group Al-Qaeda, Osama bin Laden's son Hamza, has been killed, US media reported on Wednesday.

NBC News said three US officials had confirmed they had information of Hamza bin Laden's death, but gave no details of the place or date.

The New York Times subsequently cited two US officials as saying they had confirmation that he was killed during the last two years in an operation that involved the US.

Questioned by reporters in the Oval Office, President Donald Trump did not confirm or deny the NBC report, AFP reported. "I don't want to comment on it," he said.

Both reports suggested that Hamza bin Laden may have been killed well before the US State Department announced a US$1 million (S$1.4 million) bounty on his head in February this year, AFP reported.

The 15th of Osama bin Laden's 20 children and a son of his third wife, Hamza, thought to be about 30 years old, was "emerging as a leader in the Al-Qaeda franchise", the State Department said in announcing the reward.

Sometimes dubbed the "crown prince of jihad", he had put out audio and video messages calling for attacks on the US and other countries, especially to avenge his father's killing by US forces in Pakistan in May 2011, the department said.

Documents seized in the raid on his father's house in Abbottabad suggested Hamza was being groomed as heir to the Al-Qaeda leadership.

Al-Qaeda's prominence as a radical Islamist group has faded over the past decade in the shadow of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.