France: French forces in Mali kill Abdelmalek Droukdel chief of al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), defence minister says
Droukdel was killed on Thursday near the Algerian border, where the group has bases from which it has carried out attacks and abductions of Westerners in the sub-Saharan Sahel zone, Parly said.
“Many close associates” of Droukdel – who commanded several affiliate jihadist groups across the lawless region – were also “neutralised”, she added.
Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb emerged from a group started in the late 1990s by radical Algerian Islamists, who in 2007 pledged allegiance to Osama Bin Laden’s al-Qaeda network.
According to the UN, Droukdel was an explosives expert and manufactured devices that killed hundreds of civilians in attacks on public places.