Chadian army: Soldiers in Mali kill al-Qaida's Belmokhtar

March 2, 2013 22:22

N'DJAMENA - Chadian soldiers in Mali have killed Mokhtar Belmokhtar, the al- Qaida commander behind a bloody mass hostage-taking at an Algerian gas plant earlier this year, Chad's military said.

His death would be a major blow to Islamist rebels in northern Mali who have been pushed into their mountain strongholds by French and African forces."On Saturday, March 2, at noon, Chadian armed forces operating in northern Mali completely destroyed a terrorist base (...) The toll included several dead terrorists, including their leader Mokhtar Belmokhtar," Chadian armed forces spokesman General Zacharia Gobongue said in a statement read on national television.

Belmokhtar claimed responsibility for the seizure of dozens of foreign hostages at the In Amenas gas plant in Algeria in January in which more than 60 people were killed.

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