Al-Qaeda in Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) leader Abdelhamid Abou Zeid was killed in clashes with French soldiers in northern Mali last month, the French presidency confirmed Saturday, dpa reported.
It said Abou Zeid was killed in clashes with rebels in the Adrar des Ifogas mountains at the end of February. A DNA test confirmed the Algerian militant's identity.
There were reports earlier this month that Abou Zeid had been killed in clashes with Chadian troops.
A French-led military operation to rout al-Qaeda-linked Islamists from Mali's north was launched on January 11.