Militant Group Denies U.S. Air Strike Killed Algerian Belmokhtar

The Sahara-based Islamist group al-Mourabitoun on Thursday denied reports that veteran Algerian militant Mokhtar Belmokhtar, one of its leaders, was killed in a U.S. air strike in eastern Libya last week. In a statement received by the Mauritanian news agency Alakhbar, al-Mourabitoun denied Belmokhtar was present in the area targeted by the raid. The statement said, referring to Belmokhtar by one of his aliases, "We announce to our mujahideen brothers everywhere in the world that the news of the death of commander Khaled Abou El Abbas in an American air strike is false."