US commends France for death of Al-Qaeda leader
The United States on Monday said France had dealt a significant blow to Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb after French troops killed one of the group's key leaders in northern Mali.
French President Francois Hollande on Saturday confirmed that Abdelhamid Abou Zeid had been killed in fighting led by the French army in the Ifoghas mountains in northern Mali in late February.
His death marks "an important step in the fight against terrorism in northern Mali and the Sahel," State Department spokesmen Patrick Ventrell told reporters.
Washington wanted "to commend our French partners in taking this terrorist off the battlefield," he added.
© 2013 AFP