France says it killed Al Qaeda leader in North Africa Abdelmalek Droukdel during an operation in Mali.
Defense Minister Florence Parly said that Droukdel and members of his entourage were killed Wednesday in the north of the country.
French forces also captured a senior commander of the Islamic State group in Mali during an operation in May, she said.
The “daring operations” dealt “severe damage to the terrorist groups,” she said.
Droukdel was in charge of all Al-Qaeda subsidiaries in North Africa and also commanded the Al-Qaeda branch in the Sahel, Jamaat Nusrat al-Islam wal-Muslimin (JNIM), which was active in Mali and Burkina Faso.
The commander of the captured IS group, Mohamed Mrabat, was a seasoned jihadist and had an important role in the Islamic State in the Greater Sahara (ISGS) group, she said.
The ISGS is active in Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso.
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Thousands of French soldiers have been deployed in Mali since 2013.
His involvement came after Islamist militants invaded parts of the north. With the help of France, the Malian army has taken over the territory, but insecurity continues and violence has spread to neighboring countries.
Some 4,500 French soldiers served in Operation Barkhane in support of forces from Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Burkina Faso and Chad.