Qaeda in North Africa denies US strike killed ex-chief

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An ANI Mauritanian news agency image reportedly shows former Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb leader Mokhtar Belmokhtar

Al-Qaeda in North Africa has denied reports its former leader Mokhtar Belmokhtar was killed in a US air strike last week in Libya, in a statement posted online overnight. “The mujahid Khaled Abu al-Abbas is still alive and well,” said the statement from Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, using the name by which Belmokhtar is widely known in jihadist circles. “The real target of the air strike was the Libyan lions,” the extremist group said, referring to fighters in the strife-torn North African country.

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