French kill al Qaeda Mali commander
French forces in Mali have killed Abdelhamid Abu Zeid, a leading field commander of al Qaeda's north Africa wing AQIM, Algerian Ennahar television reported on Thursday.The story does not describe the operation, only the results. I believe that Tigargara is the mountainous area where al Qaeda retreated after being driven from the cities. The French operation has gone much better than predicted to date.
The station said 40 militants including Abu Zeid were killed in the region of Tigargara in northern Mali three days ago. A French Defence Ministry official declined to comment on the report. Algeria did not confirm the killing.
Abu Zeid has been regarded as one of AQIM's most ruthless operators. He is believed to have executed British national Edwin Dyer in 2009 and a 78-year-old Frenchman, Michel Germaneau, in 2010.
Canadian diplomat Robert Fowler, in an account of his kidnapping by another Islamist cell in the Sahara, recounted how Abou Zeid refused to give medication to two hostages suffering from dysentery, one of whom had been stung by a scorpion.