French forces kill Al-Qaeda's North Africa commander in Mali
Abdelmalek Droukdel, known as the emir of Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, was killed in an operation Wednesday the northwest Mali town of Tessalit along with "many of his close associates", Defence Minister Florence Parly tweeted.
Droukdel, also known by his nom de guerre Abu Musab Abdul Wadud, fought in Algeria’s civil war in the 1990s and allied the Algerian jihadist group GSPC with Al-Qaeda in 2006. Under his leadership, AQIM claimed responsibility for several deadly attacks across Algeria.
Parly identified him as a member of Al-Qaeda's “management committee.” Related anti-terrorist operations in the region also led to the arrest May 19 of a major figure in the Islamic State in the Grand Sahara, Mohamed el Mrabat, she said.
She said the operations dealt a “severe blow” to terrorist groups in the region that have been operating for years despite the presence of thousands of French, UN and other African troops.