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French SF Kill Militant Deputy Commander

nightstalker

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French special forces conducted an operation in Mali's northern region of Tessalit yesterday killing the deputy commander of a jihadist group "Signed in Blood" Brigade. Hacene Ould Khalill was the deptuy commander of the Algerian group which split from al Qaeda.

The group claimed responsibility for attacks against a gas plant in Algeria in January, killing 38 and further attacks in Areva and Niger earlier on in the year.

Attacks in northern Mali againsts UN peace keepers have increased in recent months, and French journalists were killed in November

Due to the latest escalation of violence, there are growing concerns over security in northern Mali before legislative elections are due, the vote will complete the democratic transition following a military coup in march 2012 which resulted in Islamist rebels to seizing the north of the country.

Source: reuters

Signed in Blood Brigade Led by Mokhtar Belmokhtar.

The BBC reported on the Algerian war lord:

"Mokhtar Belmokhtar
•Fought Soviet forces in Afghanistan in late 1980s
•Former leading figure in Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM). Left in
late 2012 after falling out with leaders
•Leader of a group known variously as the Signed-in-Blood Battalion, the
Masked Men Brigade and the Khaled Abu al-Abbas Brigade
•Known as "The One-Eyed" as he often wears an eyepatch over a lost eye
•French intelligence dubbed him "The Uncatchable", while locals refer to him
as "Mr Marlboro" for his illicit cigarette operation"

Source: BBC
 
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