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Top al-Qaeda suspect dies in Lebanese custody

Majid al-Majid, the alleged leader of Abdullah Azzam Brigades, dies from kidney failure according to state sources.

Last updated: 04 Jan 2014 19:05
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The senior commander of an al-Qaeda-linked armed group, which killed 23 people in a November bomb blast in Beirut, has died days after he was arrested by the Lebanese army.

Lebanese army and judicial sources said Majid al-Majid, a Saudi citizen who was the senior leader of the Abdullah Azzam Brigades, died on Saturday after suffering kidney failure.

The man, believed to be responsible for attacks across the Middle East before focusing on Syria, was held at an undisclosed place in Lebanon. He was one of the 85 most-wanted individuals in his native Saudi Arabia.

The Abdullah Azzam Brigades claimed it carried out the November 19 twin suicide bombings that targeted the Iranian embassy in Beirut. The explosions killed at least 23 people and left more than a hundred injured.

Nearly three years of violence in neighbouring Syria has exacerbated sectarian strife in multi-confessional Lebanon, as politicians sided with rival groups in Syria.

Sunni fighters and the Shia group Hezbollah have engaged for months in a tit-for-tat killings, leading to a spate of attacks.

In a new development on Saturday, al-Qaeda affiliate the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) claimed responsibility for the latest suicide bombing, which killed at least four people on Thursday.

Suicide attacker revealed

The Lebanese army revealed on Saturday the identity of Thursday's suicide bomber who blew himself up in south Beirut, a Hezbollah stronghold.  

"The DNA test results on the remains of a suicide attacker found in the car used in the bomb attack... confirm they belong to the youth Qutaiba al-Satem", an army statement said.

"Investigations are ongoing by the relevant judicial authorities to uncover the full details of the event," the military said.

An official from Satem's native Sunni-majority area of Wadi Khaled told AFP on Friday suspicions over the 20-year-old's role were based on a family document found at the scene of the blast.

Satem's father was then called in for DNA tests.

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Source:
Al Jazeera and agencies
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