Chadian soldiers fighting against military rebels in Mali claimed that they have killed two notable military leaders including Mokhtar Belmokhtar, the one-eyed leader considered to be the mastermind behind the terrorist attacks in the region.
Belmokhtar and Abou Zeit, the two top militants with the al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) were killed at two terrorist bases in northern Mali Friday and Saturday, according to Chadian military officials and senior government officials.
Reporting the death of the two notable militants, the Globe and Mail added that no other government has confirmed the death of the two.
Until French mission in Mali January, the Islamist militant group had conquered much of the Mali region but if the report of the deaths are confirmed, that would possibly hit the strength of the Islamist group very badly.
"Both men have extensive knowledge of northern Mali and parts of the broader Sahel and deep social and other connections in northern Mali," Reuters quoted Dakar-based analyst Andrew Lebovich, as saying.
"The death of both in such a short amount of time will likely have an impact on militant operations," said Andrew Lebovich.
Chadian government also announced the death of the two militants on its national television but Oumar Bikomo, the general commander of the Chadian troops said that the death could not yet be confirmed.
"It's still conditional," said Oumar Bikomo while speaking to the New York Times adding: "I can't confirm it,"
The Canadian federal government January 15 offered a Canadian Royal Air Force, CC-17 global-master III, and around 40 air force personnel.
The federal government made the offer at the request of French government.
Later on February 14, Canada extended its support by thirty more days.
"Canada is committed to standing with our international allies in a fight against extremists and to making a positive contribution to regional and international security," said Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence after extending its French Mission support in Mali.
Jean-Marc Ayrult, prime minister of French Republic is scheduled to meet his Canadian counterpart Stephen Harper March 13 and 14 where the two prime ministers are likely to discuss about the French mission in Mali.
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