The Algerian army said Tuesday that it had managed to kill three "terrorists," including the leader of a militant group that had sworn allegiance to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).
In a statement, the Defense Ministry said that an army unit on Monday had engaged in a shootout with a group of militants in Dellys in the northern Boumerdès province, adding that three "terrorists" had been killed in the melee.
On Tuesday, one of the slain militants was identified as Abdel-Malek Qouri, leader of the so-called Jund al-Khilafa, which claimed responsibility for the execution of French national Herve Gourdel in September.
A security source told The Anadolu Agency that army troops had ambushed a vehicle carrying the three militants – including Qouri – as it had entered Dellys from a nearby forest.
Earlier this year, Jund al-Khilafa broke away from the so-called "Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM)" group, pledging allegiance instead to the ISIL, which recently captured large swathes of territory in Iraq and Syria.
The US is currently leading an international anti-ISIL coalition that has carried out numerous airstrikes against the group's sites in both countries.
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