'Finance and logistics coordinator' of al-Qaeda in Mali killed by French armed forces

French soldiers, pictured in Gao, northern Mali, in February 2013.
French soldiers, pictured in Gao, northern Mali, in February 2013. Copyright AP Photo/Jerome Delay, File
By AFP with Euronews
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The military operation "eliminated" Yahia Djouadi, who has been described as the group's "finance and logistics coordinator".

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France's army says it killed a "senior" Al-Qaeda operative during a military operation in Mali last month.

Yahia Djouadi -- also known as Abu Ammar al-Jazairi -- was killed overnight on February 26, the French Armed Forces Ministry said in a statement.

The anti-jihadist operation took place around 100 kilometres north of Timbuktu, it added.

Djouadi -- an Algerian national -- was referred to as a "senior leader" of al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), responsible for coordinating "finance and logistics".

The French army said he was located in a known area in Mali that the group has used as a "refuge".

"He was neutralised in a ground intervention, assisted by a reconnaissance and attack helicopter and two French drones,” the statement read.

His death "once again weakens al Qaeda's governance" in Mali, Paris stated, saying the mission was a "significant tactical success".

The killing of Djouadi comes as European countries have agreed to withdraw military forces from Mali, following a request from the country's military junta.

France had agreed to withdraw around 2,400 troops in total from the Sahel region but says it "remains committed" to supporting anti-terrorist efforts in West Africa, where local factions of Al-Qaeda and the so-called Islamic State are still active.

According to an official report, an attack on a Malian army camp in Mondoro on Friday left at least 27 soldiers dead.

Meanwhile, a United Nations peacekeeping convoy hit a roadside bomb on Monday, killing two people and wounding four others. Another attack on the Malian military left two dead.

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