Hamza bin Laden, the son of the late al Qaida leader Osama, has been killed in a US counter-terrorism operation in the Afghanistan-Pakistan region, White House officials have said.

A statement gives no further details, such as when Hamza bin Laden, who had become an increasingly prominent figure in the terrorist organisation, was killed or how the US confirmed his death.

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The statement says Hamza bin Laden's death "not only deprives al Qaida of important leadership skills and the symbolic connection to his father but undermines important operational activities of the group".

As the leader of al Qaida, Osama bin Laden and others plotted the attacks of September 11, 2001.

US Navy SEALs killed him in a raid on a house in Abbottabad, Pakistan, in 2011.