The London-based Arabic-language newspaper al-Sharq al-Awsat reported Monday that a top al-Qaida leader, referred to by the name al-Tuhami, was killed during an ambush by the Algerian military. Tuhami reportedly was surrounded and refused to drop his weapon when Algerian soldiers opened fire, Adnkronos reported.
The operation, conducted by an Algerian platoon specializing in counter-terrorist fighting, took place approximately 40 miles from Algiers in the village of Ain al-Hamra. Officials say Tuhami was in the village for a logistical meeting when the ambush took place.
Two al-Qaida suspects with Tuhami were also killed in the gunfight.