Mokhtar Belmokhtar, the militant who claimed responsibility for January’s attack on an Algerian natural-gas complex, was killed by Chadian soldiers in Mali, al-Jazeera reported, citing a statement from the Chadian army.
Belmokhtar died during a raid today on an Islamist base, General Zacharia Gobongue, a Chadian armed forces spokesman, said in a statement, according to Jazeera.
Belmokhtar headed the al-Qaeda-linked militant group al Mulathameen that led the attack on the In Amenas facility that left as many as 85 people dead. He previously led al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, known as AQIM.
AQIM is among groups being targeted by French armed forces in Mali, and is suspected by the U.S. of playing a role in the attack on the Algerian facility. Belmokhtar’s death comes a day after Chad’s military said it had killed Abou Zeid, another Al-Qaeda-linked commander in the region.
The French military, which is leading the offensive against militant Islamists in northern Mali, has said it cannot yet confirm either claim, Jazeera said.