A top Al-Qaeda leader Mokhtar Belmokhtar linked to the deadly terrorist attack that left 38 foreign hostages including three Americans killed in Algeria in 2013, has been targeted in a U.S. airstrike in Libya.
The recognized government in Libya issued a statement Sunday night stating that Mokhtar Belmokhtar along with a number of Libyan militants were killed in a U.S. airstrike in the eastern part of the country.
“The Libyan government announces that American planes undertook action that resulted in the death of the wanted terrorist Mokhtar Belmokhtar and a number of Libyans belonging to one of the terrorist groups in Eastern Libya, after consultation with the Libyan interim government to take action on terrorist leadership present on Libyan soil,” the statement stated.
Colonel Steven H. Warren, a Defense Department spokesman said in a statement: “I can confirm that the target of last night’s counter terrorism strike in Libya was Mokhtar Belmokhtar.
“Belmokhtar has a long history of leading terrorist activities as a member of AQIM, is the operational leader of the Al Qaeda-associated Al Murabitoun organization in northwest Africa, and maintains his personal allegiance to Al-Qaeda.
“Belmokhtar directed the 2013 attacks at In-Amenas in Algeria that resulted in the deaths of at least 38 individuals from 10 countries, including three Americans, and poses a continuing threat to U.S. persons.
“The strike was carried out by U.S. aircraft. We are continuing to assess the results of the operation and will provide more details as appropriate.”
The United States had announced $5m bounty on his head.