Algerian missile takes out Al Qaida commander and four of his aides

Special to

CAIRO — Algeria has reported the killing of a leading Al Qaida commander.

Officials said the Algerian military targeted and struck a leading
commander for Al Qaida Organization in the Islamic Maghreb.

_61600351_algeria_algiers_mali_bamako_gao_12julThe officials said attack helicopters shot air-to-ground missiles that killed the AQIM commander and four of his aides.

The AQIM commander was identified as Khalil Ould Addah, also known as Abu Bassen. Officials said Abu Bassen was believed be ranked No. 3 in AQIM, with a network throughout North Africa and the Sahel region.

The Algerian daily El Khabar said Abu Bassen was killed on Dec. 4 as he arrived from neighboring Mali. El Khabar said Abu Bassen was on his way to meet the AQIM command in northern Algeria.

Officials said the attack helicopters tracked Abu Bassen and his
associates in two all-terrain vehicles throughout southern Algeria. They
said the military had sought to capture Abu Bassen alive, but when this
proved unfeasible an attack was ordered.

This marked the assassination of the third leading AQIM commander. In
March 2013, Abdul Majed Abu Zeid and Mokhtar Belmokhtar, were reported to
have been killed in battles in northern Mali.

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