PARIS, (BM) – French troops have killed the leader of Al Qaeda in North Africa during an operation in Mali, learned BulgarianMilitary.com quoting French Defense Minister Florence Parley as saying on Twitter.
“On June 3, the French armed forces, with the support of local partners, neutralized the Emir of Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb countries, Abdelmalek Droukdel, and several of his close accomplices during an operation in northern Mali.” Parley said.
The minister said recent military operations, along with the May 19 capture of Mohammed al-Mrabat, a veteran jihadist who held senior positions in the Islamic State in Greater Sahara, had dealt a “heavy blow” to terrorist groups in Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso.
Abdelmalek Droukdel was a key figure in al Qaeda, subject to years of persecution. His group, the Islamic Maghreb, was particularly active in fighting in Mali before French troops intervened in 2013 in the Sahel region of North Africa.
The group has amassed millions from kidnapping foreigners for ransom and has turned much of West Africa into a very dangerous place for many international organizations helping the local population.
Also known as Abu Musab Abdul Wadud, Abdelmalek Droukdel fought in the Algerian civil war in the 1990s and later joined Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, spreading movement through the Sahel region of Africa under the umbrella of the global terrorist network. .
French troops in the region, numbering about 5,200 people, intervened after jihadists seized territory in northern Mali and the violence spread to neighboring countries, the BBC reported.
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