Top Islamist militant reportedly killed

Top Islamist militant reportedly killed


U.S. officials are yet to confirm reports that a top Islamist militant has been killed by an airstrike in Libya.

According to Libyan reports Mokhtar Belmokhtar has been killed after a US F-15 jet raid that was undertaken on the weekend.

Belmokhtar was a former senior figure in al-Qaed but left to form his own militia after falling out with the leaders of the group.

He then became a well know jihad after he masterminded a 2013 attack across the border into Algeria on the In Amenas gasfield where forty oil workers, mostly foreigners, were killed in the jihadist assault.

Libyan military officials said on Monday that up to 17 al Qaeda insurgents had been killed in the air strike while they were meeting near Benghazi, but did not name any.

“The strike carried out by U.S. forces was on a farm in the industrial district while Belmokhtar was holding a meeting with other militant leaders,” a Libya military source told LANA state news agency.

A U.S. official, speaking to Reuters on condition of anonymity, said around two dozen militants may have been killed.

The Pentagon was more cautious on Belmokhtar’s fate.

“Initial assessments are that it was successful. But we have not finalized our determination,” said spokesman Colonel Steve Warren, adding that the United States consulted with the internationally recognised Libyan government before the strike.

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Amy Whittaker
Amy Whittaker 1402 posts

Amy joined the NRN team in August 2011, before graduating from a B of Arts (Communication-Journalism)/B of Sports Studies from Charles Sturt University in December 2011.

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