French special forces have killed a militant Islamist in Mali who was said to have been freed in exchange for the release of French Serge Lazarevic.
Ali Ag Wadossene, a senior member of al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), was killed in northern Kidal city, a French army statement said.
Two other militants were captured in the operation, it added.
France sent troops to Mali in January 2013 to prevent the militants from over-running the capital, Bamako.
Mr Lazarevic was abducted by AQIM in 2011 and freed last December.
Mr Wadossene and another militant, Heiba Ag Acherif, were jailed in Mali for allegedly being involved in his abduction.
Mali’s government confirmed at the time that Mr Wadossene was one of four militants who had been freed in return for Mr Lazarevic’s release.
Mr Lazarevic said he had been abducted in Mali while on a business trip.
Mali is a former French colony, and is a major producer of cotton and gold.
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