June 5 (UPI) -- French forces killed Abdelmalek Droukdel, the leader of al-Qaida in North Africa, France's Ministry of Defense said Friday.
Defense Minister Florence Parly said French armed forces killed Dourkdal and "several of his close collaborators" during an operation Wednesday in Mali.
In addition to al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb, she said Dourkdal led Jama'at Nasr al-Islam wal Muslimin, a Sahel-based group that swore allegiance to al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahiri.
Parly announced that French forces also captured Mohamed el Mrabat, a leader of the Islamic State in the Greater Sahara on May 19.
"I congratulate and thank all those who have enabled and carried out these daring operations," Parly said.