White House spokesman Josh Earnest has confirmed that Mokhtar Belmokhtar, the leader of the jihadist group Al-Murabitoun, was the target of its air strikes on a site near the Libyan town of Ajdabiya.

In a press conference, Earnest said he was not yet in a position to “confirm the results” of the attack, despite Libya’s Tobruk-based government issuing a statement saying that Belmokhtar had been killed.

Mokhtar Belmokhtar is a former military commander of Al-Qaeda in the Maghreb and masterminded the 2013 attack on the Tigantourine gas facility near In Amenas in Algeria, in which more than 60 people died.

Belmokhtar’s death has been reported on a number of times in the past, and each time has proved incorrect, leading to him being dubbed “The Uncatchable” by the French military.

The US air strike took place on the night of 13 June.

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