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Algerian Fighter Linked With Al-Qaeda Killed In U.S. Airstrike In Libya

Libyan authorities identified the target of the airstrike as Mokhtar Belmokhtar, a veteran militant wanted for various murder and terrorism charges.

Posted on June 14, 2015, at 7:32 p.m. ET

Veteran jihadist Mokhtar Belmokhtar speaks in this undated still image taken from a video released by Sahara Media on January 21, 2013.
Reuters Tv / Reuters

Veteran jihadist Mokhtar Belmokhtar speaks in this undated still image taken from a video released by Sahara Media on January 21, 2013.

A U.S. airstrike in Libya killed a veteran al-Qaeda militant believed to have led an attack on an Algerian gas plant in 2013 that left 38 people dead, Libya's government said on Sunday.

The Pentagon announced earlier an airstrike had taken place in Libya, and U.S. authorities said they believed it had been successful, the Associated Press reported. The strike's target was Mokhtar Belmokhtar, the Libyan government said. Several other people may have also been killed, the AP reported.

Belmokhtar was wanted for various murder and terrorist charges after two decades of fighting in Saharan Africa. The 2013 attack and hostage standoff at the In Amenas gas plant in Algeria left 38 civilians dead as well as 29 militants. Victims at the internationally-run plant included Japanese and U.S. citizens.

He was reportedly then killed by the Chadian army in Mali, but he reemerged to plan two suicide attacks in Niger later that year, the BBC reported.

Since then, his location has been the cause of speculation. According to U.S. officials, he remained a threat to the U.S. and Western interests, the AP reported.

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