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Airstrike Kills Suspect in Benghazi Attack

  • VOA News

Mosul, Iraq

Mosul, Iraq

The United States said Monday that an airstrike last week in northern Iraq killed an Islamic State militant suspected of being involved in the 2012 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, that killed four Americans, including Ambassador Christopher Stevens.

Pentagon spokesman Colonel Steve Warren said the June 15 airstrike in Mosul killed Ali Awni al-Harzi, who worked closely with extremists affiliated with the Islamic State group in North Africa and the Middle East.

Warren described al-Harzi as a "person of interest" in the Benghazi attack without giving further details on his exact suspected involvement.

"His death degrades ISIL's ability to integrate North African jihadists into the Syrian and Iraqi fight and removes a jihadist with long ties to international terrorism," Warren said in a statement using an alternative abbreviation for the militant group.

The State Department and the United Nations designated al-Harzi as a terrorist earlier this year.

They said he joined Ansar al-Sharia in Tunisia in 2011, and later helped recruit fighters and facilitate their travel to both Tunisia and Syria while also smuggling weapons into Tunisia.

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