Al-Qaeda North Africa confirms chief is dead: SITE

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Fri, 19 Jun 2020 - 09:20 GMT

FILE- Fighters of al-Qaeda linked Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant parade at the Syrian town of Tel Abyad, near the border with Turkey January 2, 2014.- Reuters

FILE- Fighters of al-Qaeda linked Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant parade at the Syrian town of Tel Abyad, near the border with Turkey January 2, 2014.- Reuters

WASHINGTON - 19 June 2020: Al-Qaeda's North Africa wing has confirmed that its Algerian chief Abdelmalek Droukdel is dead, according to SITE, the US watchdog for extremist groups.

France said early this month that its forces killed Droukdel in northern Mali near the Algerian border, where it says the group has bases it uses to carry out bombings and abductions of Westerners, France 24 reported on Friday.

"After nearly two weeks, AQIM (Al-Qaeda in Maghreb) has officially acknowledged the death of its long time leader Droukdel (Wadud), with a video eulogy narrated by AQIM's head of media, pledging continued battles against occupying French forces and others in N. Africa and the Sahel," SITE director Rita Katz said Thursday on her Twitter account.

French Defense Minister Florence Parly said June 6 that many close associates of the Algerian -- who commanded several groups under the AQIM banner -- were also "neutralized."

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