Belmokhtar has been a major figure in insurgencies across North Africa and the Saharan border region, news agency Reuters reported.
In a statement on Twitter, Al -Qaeda has claimed that Belmokhtar, also known as Khalid Abu al-Abbas, is alive.
"The mujahid commander Khalid Abu al-Abbas is still alive and well, and he wanders and roams in the land of Allah, supporting his allies and vexing his enemies," said the statement.
Belmokhtar also ran smuggling routes across North Africa. He was dubbed "The Uncatchable" by the French military.
Once associated with al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb's Algerian leadership, Belmokhtar broke from the group but remained tied to al Qaeda's central leadership even after forming his own group "Those who sign in Blood".