Algerian militant Mokhtar Belmokhtar is seen in an undated picture from the U.S. Department of Justice. REUTERS/US Department of Justice
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Al-Qaeda-linked jihadist Mokhtar Belmokhtar, who allegedly masterminded the siege of an Algerian gas plant in which 38 hostages died, has been killed in a US air strike, Libya's government said.Pentagon spokesman, Colonel Steve Warren, said two F-15 Strike Eagle fighter jets armed with 500-pound bombs took part in the attack in eastern Libya and were escorted by observation drones.Belmokhtar, nicknamed variously as "The Uncatchable", "Mr Marlboro" and "The One-Eyed", was leader of the North African Al-Murabitoun militant group and a former chief of Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM).He allegedly masterminded the 2013 siege of an Algerian gas plant in which 38 hostages, mostly Westerners, were killed.Lana news agency cited a government official as saying the strikes targeted a farm south of Ajdabiya, some 160 kilometres (100 miles) west of Benghazi, as Belmokhtar met leaders from other extremist groups including Ansar al-Sharia, listed by Washington as a "terrorist" organisation.
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