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
Eugene Odanga
Churchill has free gifts..

Comedian Churchill has free gifts for all and sundry Read more...

Submitted by
William Korir
Radicalised Mombasa mosques to be...

Four Mosques closed last week in Mombasa will be re-opened after a working formula was agreed between stakeholders in the region. Read more...

Submitted by
William Korir
Rowdy youth heckle Muturi, disrup...

Rowdy youth disrupted the funeral service of the late Homa Bay Senator Otieno Kajwang and also heckled national assembly speaker Justin Muturi. Read more...

Submitted by
Eugene Odanga
Wendy Kimani kills it in new clip

Wendy Kimani is a brilliant musician and she has proved it once more with her latest release. Read more...

Submitted by
William Korir
President admits to taking selfie...

President Uhuru Kenyatta admitted to taking selfies while on his trip to Abu Dhabi, fueling social media rebuke over the current state of leadership. Read more...

Submitted by
William Korir
Uhuru urges Kenyans to do more to...

President Uhuru Kenyatta has been criticized for urging Kenyans not to fully depend on the government for security. Read more...