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French Military Kills Terrorist Wanted By U.S. In Mali

Ahmed el Tilemsi was killed in a nighttime raid, army spokesman Gilles Jaron told multiple media outlets.

Posted on December 11, 2014, at 7:22 a.m. ET

Joe Penney / Reuters

A French soldier on patrol in Mali in November.

A high-ranking official in several terrorist organizations was killed in an overnight raid by French armed forces in Mali on Thursday, army spokesman Gilles Jaron told multiple media outlets.

Ahmed el Tilemsi was a founding member of the Movement for Unity and Jihad in West Africa and a former member of al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, according to the U.S. State Department, which was offering a $5 million reward for information leading to his location.

"Tilemsi played a role in the January 2011 kidnapping of two French nationals in Niger," the State Department said, adding he "directly participated in the group's October 2011 kidnapping of three aid workers in Algeria, which left two wounded by gunfire."

The French military said Tilemsi was currently a member of jihadist group Al-Murabitoun, formed in 2013 after Mali- and Mauritania-based militias combined.