In this image from video, Mokhtar Belmokhtar claims responsibility for a deadly attack on a BP gas facility in Algeria. The Chadian military reported its forces had killed him in a raid in Mali on Saturday.
Credit Uncredited / SITE Intel Group/AP
A senior commander for al-Qaida's wing in North Africa has been killed, Chad's military reported on Chadian state television Saturday. NPR could not independently verify the report.
The military said troops attacked an Islamist rebel base in the mountains of northern Mali, killing several militants, including Mokhtar Belmokhtar.
A French soldier battles Islamist fighters in Gao, Mali on Thursday, Feb. 21, 2013.
President Obama has told Congress the last of about 100 troops has arrived in Niger, where they'll assist French troops with intelligence work. France has an ongoing military operation in neighboring Mali, where troops are pushing out Islamist militants.
Soldiers secure the port in Gao, Mali on Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2013.
Credit Jerome Delay / AP
An enormous cache of explosive material turned up this week in Gao, one of the northern Malian cities retaken by French and Malian troops. There are varying reports on its complexity and size, but the Associated Press reports the French military pulled about 1,700 pounds of explosive material out of a single building.
Originally published on Wed February 6, 2013 9:16 am
Tinariwen at Mali's Festival in the Desert.
Credit Alice Mutasa / Alice Mutasa Photography
In light of ongoing conflicts in Northern Mali, we checked in with Chris Nolan, an organizer of Festival in the Desert — the music festival that takes place each January in the Sahara region where much of the recent fighting has occurred. On today's installment of World Café, Nolan discusses the festival's history and elaborates on the decision to postpone the event this year.