France authorities said on Friday that its military had killed al-Qaeda’s North Africa chief Abdelmalek Droukdel, a key fighter who forces had been hunting for more than seven years, during an operation in Mali.
“On June 3, French army forces, with the support of their local partners, killed the emir of al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, Abdelmalek Droukdel, and several of his closest collaborators, during an operation in northern Mali,” French Armed Forces Minister Florence Parly wrote on Twitter.
French forces had also captured a senior Islamic State group commander in Mali in an operation in May, she said.
The “daring operations” had dealt “severe blows to the terrorist groups”.
“Our forces, in co-operation with their partners in the Sahel, will continue to hunt them relentlessly,” she added.
The captured Islamic State group commander, Mohamed Mrabat, was a veteran jihadist and had a senior role in the Islamic State in the Greater Sahara (ISGS) group, Ms Parly said. He was caught on 19 May, Florence concluded.
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