A veteran Islamist militant, described as ‘The Uncatchable’ by French military forces, has reportedly been killed in a US airstrike inside Libya, the Libyan government has said.
A veteran Islamist militant blamed for a deadly attack on an Algerian gas field and who ran smuggling routes across North Africa has been killed in a U.S. air strike inside Libya, Libya’s government said on Sunday.
The recognised government said the strike had killed Mokhtar Belmokhtar, an Algerian militant who became a major figure in insurgencies across North Africa and the Saharan border region and was dubbed “The Uncatchable” by the French military.
The U.S. military confirmed Belmokhtar had been targeted in Saturday night’s air strike but did not say if he was killed.
The Pentagon was continuing to assess the results of the operation, spokesman Colonel Steve Warren said in a statement.
Libya’s internationally recognised government, which sits in the eastern town of Bayda, said the U.S strike had killed Belmokhtar at a gathering with other militant leaders, who it did not name.
Libyan officials gave no further details about the area of the strike. But Libyan military sources said an air strike on a farmhouse on Saturday in Ajdabiya city near Benghazi had killed seven members of the Ansar al-Sharia militant group who had been meeting there.