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Al-Qaeda in Islamic Maghreb admits assassination of historical leader

Abdelmalek Droukdel, former leader of AQIM [cdnit]
Abdelmalek Droukdel, former leader of AQIM [cdnit]

The Al-Qaeda organisation in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) confirmed in an audio recording the murder of its leader, Abdelmalek Droukdel, who was killed by French forces at the beginning of June.

A leader in the organisation, who identified himself as Abu Abdul-Ilah Ahmad, announced in an audio recording released by Al-Andalus, the organisation's media outlet, on Thursday, that Droukdel had been killed, vowing to continue fighting against French forces and the leaders of the countries in the region.

On Friday, France confirmed that its forces had killed Droukdel in northern Mali, near the border with Algeria.

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French Armed Forces Minister Florence Parly confirmed on Twitter: "On 3 June, French army forces, with the support of their local partners, killed the emir of Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, Abdelmalek Droukdel, and several of his closest collaborators, during an operation in northern Mali."

Droukdel's death occurred almost six months after French President Emmanuel Macron and the leaders of the G5 Sahel group – Mauritania, Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger and Chad – initiated a new plan to combine their military forces under one command structure, to combat armed groups linked to Al-Qaeda and Daesh.

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