French army: leading member of African-based Al Quaeda affiliate killed

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PARIS, Oct 21 (Reuters) - Nasser Al Tergui, a leading member of the African-based Al Quaeda affiliate Katiba Serma, was killed last week in Mali after an air strike by Barkhane military forces, said the French army on Thursday.

Katiba Serma is an armed group affiliated with al Qaeda.

Operation Barkhane, under which France has about 5,100 soldiers deployed across five countries in the Sahel region, south of the Sahara desert, was launched in 2014 to combat the jihadi insurgency there.

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Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta, Myriam Rivet; Editing by Benoit Van Overstraeten

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