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ALGIERS - Algerian special forces killed the leader of an ISIS-linked militant group responsible for kidnapping and beheading a Western tourist in September, Algeria's ministry of defense said Tuesday. It said in a statement that Abdelmalek Gouri, also known as Khalid Abu Suleiman, was killed in an ambush near Boumerdes, 30 miles east of Algiers. He was a veteran of Algeria's 1990s Islamist conflict and leader of the Caliphate Soldiers group, which declared its allegiance to ISIS fighters in September.

Caliphate Soldiers kidnapped French tourist Herve Gourdel when he was planning a hiking trip in the mountainous region east of the capital. Militants later showed a video of his beheading, saying they killed him to punish France for its military actions in Iraq. "This is a blow to [ISIS] in Algeria, the small group has only been in existence for a couple of months," said Algerian security analyst Anis Rahmani. "Killing its chief will affect the morale of the militants."


- Reuters