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Algerian Militant Belmokhtar Killed in Mali, Al-Jazeera Reports

March 2 (Bloomberg) -- 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.

To contact the reporter on this story: Zaid Sabah Abd Alhamid in Washington at zalhamid@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Joe Sabo at jsabo@bloomberg.net

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