Leader of Algerian 'beheading group' killed | Algeria News | Al Jazeera

Leader of Algerian 'beheading group' killed

Abdelmalek Gouri headed the Jund al-Khilafa group which beheaded French tourist Herve Gourdel in September.

    Leader of Algerian 'beheading group' killed
    Gourdel was kidnapped while hiking in the Tizi Ouzu region, once a draw for tourists but now a rebel sanctuary [AFP]

    Algerian special forces have killed the leader of the rebel group responsible for kidnapping and beheading French tourist Herve Gourdel in September, Algeria's ministry of defence has said.

    Abdelmalek Gouri, also known as Khalid Abu Suleiman, was killed on Tuesday in an ambush near Boumerdes, 50km east of Algiers, it said in a statement.

    Gouri was a veteran of Algeria's 1990s conflict and leader of the Jund al-Khilafa, or “Caliphate Soldiers” group, which declared its allegiance to the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant in September.

    Jund al-Khilafa beheaded Gourdel on September 24 in a gruesome video posted online after France rejected their demand to halt air strikes in Iraq.

    A former regional head of al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, Gouri had aligned his fighters with ISIL, whose battlefield clashes and declaration of a "Caliphate" in Iraq and Syria have drawn in other North African groups, challenging al-Qaeda.

    Two other fighters were killed in a separate operation on Tuesday in nearby Tizi Ouzou, the ministry's statement said, in the same mountains that have long been home to bands of rebel fighters. Known locally as the "triangle of death", the region used to be a stronghold of Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb.

    Algerian forces have killed 110 fighters in 2014, according to a military source, and Algeria remains an important US ally in its fight against armed groups in the region.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    What obstacles do young women in technology have to overcome to achieve their dreams? Play this retro game to find out.

    The State of Lebanon

    The State of Lebanon

    Amid deepening regional rivalries what does the future hold for Lebanon's long established political dynasties?

    Exploited, hated, killed: The lives of African fruit pickers

    Exploited, hated, killed: Italy's African fruit pickers

    Thousands of Africans pick fruit and vegetables for a pittance as supermarkets profit, and face violent abuse.