US launches airstrike against al-Qaida leader in Libya

Updated: 2015-06-15 10:57


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WASHINGTON - The US military has launched an airstrike in Libya that targeted and hit an al-Qaida leader, the Pentagon said Sunday.

"We are assessing the results of the operation and will provide additional information as and when appropriate," Pentagon spokesman Steve Warren said in a statement, which did not specify if drones or manned aircraft were used for the operation.

Warren said that the Saturday airstrike was successful as the US military believed that the target was hit, adding that no US personnel were on the ground in Libya.

The Libyan government has reportedly confirmed that US warplanes launched an airstrike and killed Mokhtar Belmokhtar and several others who are affiliated with Ansar al-Shariah, an offshoot of al-Qaida, in the city of Ajdabiya in eastern Libya. It added that the US attack came after consultation with the Libyan government.

Belmokhtar is responsible for killing at least 35 hostages, including three Americans, in an attack on a gas plant in Algeria in 2013. The United States has filed terrorism charges against him for the murders.