Madjiasra Nako
March 3, 2013

Chadian soldiers in Mali have killed Mokhtar Belmokhtar, the al Qaeda commander who masterminded a bloody hostage-taking at an Algerian gas plant in January, Chad’s military said on Saturday.

The death of one of the world’s most wanted jihadists would be a major blow to al Qaeda in the region and to Islamist rebels already forced to flee towns they had seized in northern Mali by an offensive by French and African troops.

“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,” Chad’s armed forces said in a statement read on national television.

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