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Al-Qaida leader dies in Lebanese custody

| Saturday, Jan. 4, 2014, 6:27 p.m.
A Lebanese woman whose son was killed at the Iranian embassy attack in Beirut last November, holds a placard shows a portrait of her son and other victims, as she attends a press conference, in Beirut, Lebanon, Friday, Jan. 3, 2014. DNA tests confirmed that Majid al-Majid who is in Lebanese government custody is the alleged leader of an al-Qaida-linked group that has conducted attacks across the Middle East before shifting its focus to Syria's civil war, Lebanese authorities said Friday. Families of those killed in the embassy bombing demanded that al-Majid, who has not been charged in the attack, be tried in Lebanon and not be sent to his homeland. (AP Photo/Bassem Mroue)

BEIRUT — The leader of an al-Qaida-linked group that carried out attacks across the Middle East before shifting its focus to Syria's civil war died on Saturday while in custody in Lebanon, the army said.

In a short statement, the Lebanese army said Majid al-Majid “died this morning while undergoing treatment at the central military hospital after his health deteriorated.”

Earlier, a Lebanese army general said al-Majid died after suffering kidney failure. He was speaking on condition of anonymity in line with regulations. State-run National News Agency said al-Majid died “after his health conditions deteriorated.”

Al-Majid, a Saudi citizen, was detained in Lebanon late last month and had been held at a secret location.

He was the purported commander of the Abdullah Azzam Brigades, a Sunni militant group with al-Qaida links, and one of the 85 most-wanted individuals in his native Saudi Arabia.

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