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Middle East

DNA confirms leader of al-Qaeda group held

Al-Majid, commander of armed group which has claimed responsibility for a series of bombings, held in Lebanon.

Last updated: 03 Jan 2014 17:13
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Al-Majid is on Saudi Arabia's list of most-wanted individuals [Reuters]

DNA tests have confirmed that a man in Lebanese custody is the suspected leader of an al-Qaeda-linked group that said it carried out bombings across the Middle East, the Lebanese army has said.

In a brief statement, the army said the tests show that the detained man is Majid al-Majid, a Saudi citizen and the commander of the Abdullah Azzam Brigades.

Al-Majid is on Saudi Arabia's list of 85 most-wanted individuals, and the US State Department has designated the group he leads a foreign terrorist organisation.

The group has claimed responsibility for attacks throughout the region, including the 2010 bombing of a Japanese oil tanker in the Persian Gulf and several rocket attacks from Lebanon into Israel.

The group claims it carried out the November 19 double-bombing of the Iranian Embassy in Beirut, which killed at least 23 people and wounded dozens.

Earlier on Friday, families of those killed in the Iranian Embassy bombing demanded that al-Majid be tried in Lebanon and not be sent to his homeland.

He has not been charged in connection with the embassy blasts.

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Source:
AP
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