Al Qaeda denies reports of ex-chief Belmokhtar's death

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Cairo, June 19: North African branch of Al-Qaeda has refuted reports that its ex-chief Mokhtar Belmokhtar was killed in a US air strike in Libya.

Belmokhtar has been a major figure in insurgencies across North Africa and the Saharan border region, news agency Reuters reported.

Belmokhtar is alive: Al-Qaeda

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.

Read More: Islamist Mokhtar Belmokhtar killed in US strike

Libya's government said on June 15 that Belmokhtar blamed for a deadly attack on Algeria's Amenas gas field in 2013 in which 40 oil workers died, has been killed in air-strike.

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".

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