US targets al Qaeda terrorist in Libya

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from The Hill,

The U.S. military targeted an al Qaeda-affiliated terrorist in a “counterterrorism” airstrike in Libya late Saturday, the Pentagon announced.

Col. Steve Warren, a Department of Defense spokesman, identified the target as Mokhtar Belmokhtar.

“Belmokhtar has a long history of leading terrorist activities as a member of AQIM, is the operational leader of the Al Qa’ida-associated Al Murabitun organization in Northwest Africa, and maintains his personal allegiance to al-Qaida,” Warren said in a statement late Sunday.

The Pentagon said Belmokhtar directed the 2013 attacks at a gasfield in Algeria that resulted in the deaths of at least 38 individuals from ten countries, including three Americans.

“The strike was carried out by U.S. aircraft,” Warren said. “We are continuing to assess the results of the operation and will provide more details as appropriate.”

Libya’s government said the strike killed Belmokhtar, Reuters reported.

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