Al-Qaeda in North Africa appoints new chief to succeed Droukdel

DAKAR (Reuters) – Al Qaeda’s North African branch (AQIM) has appointed a new leader and confirmed the death of its former leader Abdelmalek Droukdel, who was killed by the French army in June, SITE Intelligence Group said on Saturday.

The US-based SITE, which monitors jihadist websites, said AQIM had videoed the body of its former leader for the first time.

The French army killed Droukdel in Mali after hunting him in the Sahel for more than seven years.

AQIM said that after Droukdel's death, another Algerian, Sheikh Mujahid Yazid Mubarak, also known as Abu Ubaida Yusuf al-Annabi, was selected to succeed him.

The group also confirmed the death of Swiss woman Beatrice Stockly, who was kidnapped from the Malian city of Timbuktu in January 2016.

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