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Wednesday, October 10, 2007

AQIM - Sofiane Abu Fasila Shot and Killed in Tzizi Ouzou

ALGIERS (Reuters) - The deputy chief of al Qaeda's North Africa wing, believed to be the group's operational leader, was killed along with two other rebels in a gun battle with Algerian troops, local newspapers said on Tuesday.

Hareg Zoheir, also known as Sofiane Abu Fasila, was said to be the second-in-command of Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb and suspected of being behind planning most of the suicide bombings in Algeria in the recent months.

He was shot dead on Sunday at a check point in the eastern region of Tzizi Ouzou, the country's leading dailies reported.

"Sofiane is a big, big fish. In a way, he was the real boss of the organization in Algeria," Eshorouk's editor and security specialist Anis Rahmani told Reuters, adding that " he was a man of action not a man of religion."

Two other rebels were also killed alongside him during a clash with government troops at the check point, El Watan and Eshorouk newspapers added.

Both were also suspected to be involved in preparing suicide attacks, said the newspapers.

The Rest @ Reuters Africa

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