BEIRUT – Syrian monitors and a relative of a senior Egyptian al-Qaida figure fighting in Syria say he was killed in a U.S. drone strike there this week.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says Rifai Ahmad Taha was killed in a strike Tuesday in Idlib province.
Taha was part of an extremist group that massacred 58 foreign tourists in the ancient Egyptian city of Luxor in 1997. He was also allied with Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan.
In Egypt, a relative said Friday that Taha's wife and brother have received confirmation about his death. The relative spoke on condition of anonymity fearing reprisals.
In Washington, Department of Defense spokesman Matthew Allen said the U.S. struck a vehicle killing several al-Qaida militants. He added that officials are still assessing the strike.