Algeria kills top Al Qaida leader

Army helicopters have killed a top al Qaida leader and four associates as they were speeding through the desert in the south of Algeria, an official said.

The two four-wheel-drive vehicles contained five men including Khalil Ould Addah, also known as Abu Bassen, the number three in al Qaida’s North Africa branch, according to the official in the southern regional capital of Tamanrasset.

The Arabic language daily El Khabar reported that the men were coming from Mali to meet with top al Qaida leaders based in northern Algeria.

The official said the army had wanted to take them men alive, but in the end the use of attack helicopters was deemed necessary.

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