22 February 2013

Sudan: Leader of Al-Qaeda in Sudan Killed in Mali - Reports

Photo: William Lloyd-George/IPS
Malian refugees (file photo).

Khartoum — The leader of Al-Qaeda in the Land of the Two Niles, Sudan, Abu Hazim was killed in an airstrike carried out recently by French warplanes on the positions jihadists in northern Mali.

Abu Hazim, whose real name is Eman Mahmoud, was born in the northern Sudan town of Dongola in 1964. He was married with two women one of them from India.

The SITE Intelligence Group, a website specialised on the activities of jihadist groups , was the first to reveal the news saying it obtained a statement announcing his death on al Qaeda-linked Internet forums.

The Long War Journal, another website dealing with terror groups, cited a US intelligence official saying that Abu Hazim had moved to Mali to fight alongside Al-Qaeda jihadists at the beginning of French-led operation launched last January to stop their advance towards the Malian capital.

The Sudanese jihadist took part in the fight against the Soviet army in Afghanistan, in the Philippines, in Chechnya. He also trained militants who participated in the "jihad" in Iraq and Somalia, said the statement announcing his death.

A Khartoum based newspaper, Al-Sahafa, said got a confirmation of his death from "informed sources". The daily further added that the latter denied the existence of Al-Qaeda in Sudan , saying there are small circles of radical youth in the country.

The Sudanese source told Al-Sahafa they conducted a dialogue with these youth after their return from Somalia and most of them renounced violence and extremist ideology.

Last January Al-Qaeda group in Sudan announced the formation of its student wing in the University of Khartoum in a new sign of growing extremist influence in the country.

The Agence France Presse correspondent in Bamako, Malian capital, last October reported that Islamist militants including Sudanese had been pouring to northern Mali to fight along sides the Malian jihaists.

A resident from Timbuktu, which at the time had been in the hands of radical fighters , said more than 150 Sudanese were arrived in the historical site.

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