A veteran Islamist militant blamed for a deadly attack on an Algerian gas field and who ran smuggling routes across North Africa has been killed in a U.S. air strike inside Libya, Libya’s government said on Sunday.
The recognized government said the strike had killed Mokhtar Belmokhtar, an Algerian militant who became a major figure in insurgencies across North Africa and the Saharan border region and was dubbed “The Uncatchable” by the French military.
The U.S. military confirmed Belmokhtar had been targeted in Saturday night’s air strike but did not say if he was killed.
The Pentagon was continuing to assess the results of the operation, spokesman Colonel Steve Warren said in a statement.
Libya’s internationally recognized government, which sits in the eastern town of Bayda, said the U.S strike had killed Belmokhtar at a gathering with other militant leaders, who it did not name.