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Al-Qaeda Denies Reports Of Top Militant's Death

Al-Qaeda's North Africa branch has denied reports that top Islamist militant Mokhtar Belmokhtar was recently killed in Libya.

Posting on Twitter late on June 18, Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb said Belmokhtar -- also known as Khalid Abu al-Abbas -- was "alive and well."

Libya's government announced on June 15 that Belmokhtar -- a major figure in insurgencies across North Africa and the Saharan border region -- had been killed in a U.S. air strike.

The Pentagon confirmed that Belmokhtar had indeed been targeted, but did not confirm if he had been killed.

Belmokhtar was blamed for orchestrating the 2013 attack on an Algerian gas field that killed 40 oil workers.

He has been reported killed several times.

Based on reporting by Reuters and AFP