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Slain Qaeda commander's weapon found

2013-03-02 16:03

Algiers - Algerian officers have found a weapon that belongs to a top al-Qaeda operative reportedly killed in Mali and examined a body but are still unable to confirm it is his, a daily said on Saturday.

El Khabar's report comes a day after Chadian President Idriss Deby Itno said that Abdelhamid Abu Zeid was killed in deadly fighting between Chadian troops and Islamist fighters on 22 February in northern Mali.

Media in Abu Zeid's native Algeria have reported the death of the Mali-based commander of al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), and Washington has described the reports as "very credible".

But El Khabar newspaper said on Saturday that formal confirmation of Abu Zeid's death still hinges on the results of DNA tests being conducted by Algeria.

"Algerian officers have examined a body said to be that of Abu Zeid in a military site in northern Mali and identified his personal weapon... but were unable to formally identify" the body as his, it said.

Quoting a senior Algerian security official, the daily gave no further details but said the officers had been tracking Abu Zeid for years, suggesting they were familiar with the AQIM commander.

Comparing DNA

"Confirmation of Abu Zeid's death remains linked to the results of DNA tests done on Thursday by Algeria on two members of his family," said El Khabar.

"Neither the French forces nor Malian forces have been able to identify the body found after fierce battles in the Ifogas mountains," in northern Mali.

On Friday, El Khabar said Algerian security services were "comparing DNA taken from two close relatives of Abu Zeid with samples taken from the remains of a body supplied by French forces" battling Islamists in Mali.

The family of Abu Zeid, whose real name is Mohamed Ghedir, has meanwhile said "it has no official information concerning his fate," Echorouk newspaper said on Saturday.

The death of Abu Zeid, 46, would be one of the most significant blows to the rebels in the seven-week French-led intervention against Islamist insurgents.

On Thursday, Algeria's independent Ennahar TV said Abu Zeid was killed in northern Mali along with 40 other Islamists.

An Algiers court last year sentenced him in absentia to life in prison for having formed an international armed group implicated in the kidnapping of foreign tourists in 2003.

Comments
  • Jason Lok - 2013-03-02 17:40

    May this freedom fighters fighting spirit remain with his comrades or henchmen, may the oppressors an enemies be destroyed. may he RIP

      Simson Möller - 2013-03-02 18:42

      You are spirited my young warrior.... Ha ha ha. Not the first, nor the last! Long live the Western forces!!

      Rude Awakning - 2013-03-02 23:51

      Jason, what are you smoking,china? When a atheist scandanavian and many atheist americans shot and killed masses, did they too hear voices? A handfull of extremist of whatever believe or cult, does not represent everyone of whatever they claim to be! Your friggen western forces aren't exactly saints too! So maybe after the next 'big bang' you will end up in afghanistan with a long beard and turban on your head! Fool!

  • Rude Awakning - 2013-03-03 00:01

    If what he stands accused of is true, then he deserves to die!Islam does not condone such criminal conduct in this day and age!

  • Jason Lok - 2013-03-03 14:02

    RA, U r so one sided an brainwasshed, that its impossible for u too understand what these western oppressors r doing in the world incl SA, my donkey take ur blinkers off an see the broader picture...now let us all go an watch the cricket

      Rude Awakning - 2013-03-03 21:11

      Really? And I should understand because I am in the US of A! maybe you should have watched the Sharks vs Stormers game! Btw I am muslim! And there aint no blinkers here!I still say I his actions was criminal...he must pay the price!

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