France says its forces has killed Al Qaeda’s North Africa chief Abdelmalek Droukdel in an operation in northern Mali.
French Defence Minister Florence Parly said Droukdel was “neutralised” along with his close associated during the operations.
In his 40s, Droukdel led Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) and was responsible of all affiliates in northern Africa. He also commanded the Jamaat Nusra al-Islam wal-Muslimin (JNIM), the group’s Sahel affiliate.
Under his leadership, the group had carried out the 2016 attack on a hotel in Burkina Faso that had killed 30 people and injured 150.
He had been sanctioned by the UN in 2007 for waging violent campaigns across the region.
In May, France had also captured a senior Islamic State (IS) commander, Mohamed Mrabat, in Mali.