An al Qaeda fighter who had been released in exchange for former French hostage Serge Lazarevic was killed by French special forces during a raid in the Kidal region of northern Mali yesterday. Mohamad Ali Ag Wadossene, a member of al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), al Qaeda’s official branch in North Africa, had previously been captured by French forces in Mali sometime last year.
The Associated Press reported that yesterday’s operation occurred in the Tigharghar mountains in the northern Kidal region. A Malian military official stated that a dozen other AQIM fighters were also captured in the assault.
The French Ministry of Defense has released a statement saying “two terrorists were captured,” along with the killing of Wadossene.
French special forces also killed two al Qaeda leaders, Hamada Ag Hama and Ibrahim Ag Inawalen, in a nighttime raid in northern Mali in May. Hama, who also went by Abdul Karim al Tuareg, was the leader of AQIM’s Katibat al Ansar. He was responsible for taking several French hostages in the North African country, according to RFI. Inawalen was a leader in Ansar Dine, a jihadist group within al Qaeda’s network in Mali. [See LWJ report, French forces kill two al Qaeda leaders in Mali.]