France says it has killed the leader of al-Qaeda in north Africa, Abdelmalek Droukdel, in an operation in Mali.
Defence Minister Florence Parly said Droukdel along with members of his inner circle had been killed in the north of the country on Wednesday.
French forces had also captured a senior Islamic State group commander in Mali in an operation in May, she said.
The “daring operations” had dealt “severe blows to the terrorist groups”, she said.
“Our forces, in co-operation with their partners in the Sahel, will continue to hunt them relentlessly,” she said.
As head of Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), Droukdel was in charge of all affiliates in north Africa and also commanded al-Qaeda’s Sahel affiliate, Jamaat Nusrat al-Islam wal-Muslimin (JNIM).
The captured Islamic State group commander, Mohamed Mrabat, was a veteran jihadist and had a senior role in the Islamic State in the Greater Sahara (ISGS) group, Ms Parly said. He was caught on 19 May, she added.