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Chad's President Says Al-Qaeda Commander Killed In Mali

Soldiers guard handcuffed prisoners on March 1 after French and Malian troops reportedly launched an operation the previous day in the village of Kadji, northern Mali, where Islamists are hiding out on an island on the Niger River.
Chad’s President Idress Deby has announced that his country’s troops have killed a senior Al-Qaeda commander in northern Mali.

Deby said on March 1 that Abdelhamid Abou Zeid, one of the main leaders of Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), had been killed on February 22.

Algeria-born Abou Zeid is blamed for kidnapping dozens of Western nationals in the region and killing at least two of them.

Algerian media reported that authorities were comparing DNA samples from Abou Zeid's relatives with the body which is reportedly his.

A recent French-led military campaign has recaptured most of the Malian territory seized by Islamist groups last year.

French and African forces are now hunting down Islamist fighters in remote areas in the north of the country.

Based on reporting by Reuters and AFP