French military chief says "probable" al Qaeda commander Abou Zeid killed

France Joint Chief of Staff says there is no certainty that the al Qaeda leader has been killed.


Reuters March 04, 2013
This Al-Andalus image grab from a video released on February 28, 2013 shows Abu Zeid (L), also known as Abid Hammadou, posing with fighters of al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb. PHOTO: AFP

PARIS: Al Qaeda's senior field commander in the Sahara, Abdelhamid Abou Zeid, may have been killed in Mali, the head of France's joint chiefs of staff said on Monday.

Edouard Guillaud's remarks are the first indication from the French government that Abou Zeid died in fighting in the rugged north of Mali.

Asked on Europe 1 radio whether he had been killed, Guillaud said: "It is probable but only probable. We don't have any certainty for the moment (but) it would be good news."

Chad's army, which is fighting alongside French forces in northern Mali, said last week that it killed Abou Zeid and another al Qaeda commander in the area, Mokhtar Belmokhtar.

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