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Islamist militant Mokhtar Belmokhtar killed in Mali

  • Islamist militant Mokhtar Belmokhtar was killed by Chadian soldiers in Mali on Saturday, according to Chad's armed forces.

    His death was announced on Chadian state television but is yet to be confirmed by other sources.

    "Chadian forces in Mali completely destroyed the main jihadist base in the Adrar de Ifhogas mountains...killing several terrorists including leader Mokhtar Belmokhtar," an army statement on Chadian TV said.

    Belmokhtar, a former al-Qaeda leader, is believed to have ordered an attack on an Algerian gas plant in January in which more than 60 people, including 37 hostages, were killed.

    The news comes as Chadian troops continue to battle Islamist militants in Mali as part of an international force led by France.

    Reports of the killing came a day after Chadian President Idriss Deby announced the country's forces had killed al-Qaeda militant Abdelhamid Abou Zeid in northern Mali.

    Abou Zeid’s death is still to be confirmed by DNA evidence. He is said to be the second-in-command of al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM).