Chadian army: Mokhtar Belmokhtar 'killed' in Mali
Tuesday, March 5, 2013
In a statement read on Chadian national television, an armed forces spokesperson said: "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 Belmokhta." The announcement of his death comes a day after the French forces in .announced the senior Al-Qaeda commander had been killed by
|[His death] would be a blow to terrorism and to the criminal network around this man and other people|
His death, if confirmed, is part of a larger conflict in the area. Islamist rebels have already been pushed back from towns such asin Northern Mali.
The British William Hague said "It would be a blow to terrorism and to the criminal network around this man and other people. But it doesn't mean that the problems of Mali would be at an end. There's a lot to do to promote a political process in Mali: elections, legitimate government and so on. That work has to go on".
Chad is working alongside France and other African nations in a force aimed at regaining control of Northern Mali which has been seized by Islamist rebels. Belmokhtar lost an eye whilst fighting in an Islamist insurgency in the 1990s; he has spent over two decades in militant Islamism. Also a former member of the (AQIM), he left to create his own militant group.
There are concerns over the fate of seven French hostages taken in Mali; the French government has not confirmed the announcements from Chad of the deaths of prominent Al-Qaeda commanderand Mokhtar Belmokhtar. Didier Beguin, a member of the support committee for another group of French hostages, said: "This is a rumour that is enormously worrying for the families and those of us who support them".
- "Al-Qaeda commander Abou Zeid killed in Mali by French forces" — Wikinews, March 3, 2013
- "Islamist militant Mokhtar Belmokhtar 'killed in Mali'" — , March 3, 2013
- "Mokhtar Belmokhtar: Gas Terror Chief 'Killed'" — , March 3, 2013
- Belmokhtar death would be blow to terrorism: Britain" — , March 3, 2013 . "
- Ruth Sherlock. "Mokhtar Belmokhtar's death 'could have repercussions for French hostages'" — , March 3, 2013
- Krista Larson (French, Malian troops regain control of Gao" — , February 11, 2013