June 15, 2015 / 12:31 AM / 4 years ago

U.S. confirms militant Belmokhtar was target of Libya air strike

Mokhtar Belmokhtar is seen in a still image taken from Mauritanian news website Sahara Media at an unidentified location on January 20, 2013. REUTERS/Sahara Media website via Reuters TV

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. military confirmed on Sunday that Algerian militant Mokhtar Belmokhtar was the target of a U.S. air strike in Libya but did not say if he had been killed.

“The strike was carried out by U.S. aircraft. We are continuing to assess the results of the operation and will provide more details as appropriate,” Pentagon spokesman Colonel Steve Warren said in a statement.

Libya’s recognized government said earlier on Sunday that Belmokhtar, blamed for masterminding an Algerian gas field attack and running smuggling routes across North Africa, had been killed in a U.S. air strike inside Libya.

Reporting by Peter Cooney and Arshad Mohammed; Editing by Sandra Maler

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