Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.

 

Islamist chief 'likely' killed in Mali

05 March 2013, 07:35

Paris - Top Islamist militant leader Abdelhamid Abou Zeid has "likely" been killed in Mali as reported by Chadian forces, the French army's chief of staff, Admiral Edouard Guillaud, said on Monday.

"It is likely, but it is only likely," Guillaud said when asked on Europe 1 radio about the killing, adding that French authorities cannot "have any certainty right now because we have not recovered the body".

On the reported killing of another Islamist rebel leader, Mokhtar Belmokhtar, Guillaud was more sceptical, saying: "I am extremely cautious."

He also said the French army "has no information" about where French hostages being held in the Sahel region may currently be located. He said it was "possible" they had been moved.

He said French forces in Mali had uncovered an "industrial terrorist organisation" in the northeast, where French and Chadian troops are hunting down Islamist rebels driven from northern Mali's main cities by a lightning French-led offensive launched in mid-January.

French forces have so far found more than 50 weapons caches, a dozen workshops and 20 improvised explosive devices, he said.

Guillaud said the military operation was dealing a fatal blow to al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (Aqim), the leading militant group in the region.

"We are breaking the back of al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, that was the goal set by the president," he said.

He said the French military was not surprised that fighting had intensified in recent days as Islamist rebels have been cornered in mountain hideouts.

"We knew this would be the hardest part of this campaign," Guillaud said.

- AFP

NEXT ON NEWS24 KENYAX

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Victor Tinto
COTU wants Kambi sacked, threaten...

The Central Organisation of Trade Unions COTU wants Labour secretary Kazungu Kambi sacked and has threatened an August 4 workers strike to drive their point home. Read more...

Submitted by
William Korir
Parliament orders suspension of P...

A parliamentary committee has called for the suspension of the reporting date for 10,000 police recruits pending investigations into allegations of graft in the recruitment process. Read more...

Submitted by
John Kioko
CORD accused of intimidating its ...

Richard Onsongo, a Msambweni-based politician has accused CORD of intimidating its Coastal allies by asking them not to associate with the ruling coalition. Read more...

Submitted by
Eugene Odanga
Willy Paul exports Kenyan love to...

Willy Paul has hit the ground running in what should be his second visit to the USA this year on tour to promote his two new songs, “Tam Tam” and “Kwa Vile”.  Read more...

Submitted by
Eugene Odanga
Sauti Sol talk to the beautiful K...

Sauti Sol have a penchant for saying things the way they are and especially when it comes to beauty. Here is a further example. Read more...