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France: Jihadi Ahmed al Tilemsi, Wanted by U.S., Killed in Mali

PARIS — French forces in northern Mali have killed a senior commander of the al Mourabitoun Islamist group who was wanted by the United States, a defense ministry spokesman said on Thursday. The United States has offered a $5 million reward for information leading to the arrest of Ahmed al Tilemsi, who took part in the 2011 kidnapping of two French nationals in Niger and of three aid workers in Algeria later that year. Al Tilemsi was a founding member of the Movement for Unity and Jihad in West Africa (MUJWA), which merged with fighters loyal to veteran Islamist leader Mokhtar Belmokhtar to form al Mourabitoun last year.

"Last night, we launched an operation in the Gao region in coordination with Malian forces," Colonel Gilles Jarron told reporters in Paris. He added that Tilesmi had been killed and a dozen other Islamists "neutralized," but did not specify if that meant killed or arrested.

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— Reuters