NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — The al-Qaida operative behind the 1998 U.S. Embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania has been killed, a Somali official said Saturday.
Somali officials have determined that a man killed by security forces on Tuesday was Fazul Abdullah Mohammed, said a spokesman for Somalia's minister of information, Abdifatah Abdinur.
"We've compared the pictures of the body to his old pictures," he said. "They are the same. It is confirmed. He is the man and he is dead. The man who died is Fazul Abdullah."
Abdinur said the government is planning to issue a statement confirming Mohamed's death.
Mohamed had a $5 million bounty on his head for allegedly planning the Aug. 7, 1998 embassy bombings. The blasts killed 224 people in Nairobi, Kenya and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania combined. Most of the dead were Kenyans. Twelve Americans also died.
Members of Somalia's most dangerous militant group, al-Shabab, have pledged allegiance to al-Qaida. Al-Shabab's members include veterans of the Iraq and Pakistan conflicts.
Hundreds of foreign fighters are swelling the ranks of al-Shabab militants who are trying in vain to topple the country's weak U.N.-backed government.
Somalia has been mired in violence since 1991, when the last central government collapsed.
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