Tunisian special forces have killed Bilel Kobi, a senior Algerian member of Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb.
Kobi, who was killed in an ambush when he was on a mission to reorganize AQIM's Tunisian branch, was the top aide to Abu Musab Abdul Wadud, the leader of the organization.
The operation took place near the Algerian border in the Mount Sammama area of central-western Tunisia.
Kobi had been charged with overseeing links between the terrorist network and its Tunisian branch. He had joined terrorist groups in the area at the age of 15.
Another Algerian, Bechir Bin Neji, thought to have been the commander of an AQMI cell in the Sammama region, was also found dead with an assault rifle by his side, Tunisian interior ministry spokesman Khlifa Chibani said.
Bin Neji was the leader of Okba Ibn Nafaa in the Semmama mountain, he said.
The dead militant had joined terrorist groups in Algeria in 2003 before becoming a member of Okba Ibn Nafaa 10 years later.