"The French intervention in Mali appears to have pushed Belmokhtar north from his previous hunting grounds into Niger and southern Libya. He was able to take advantage of the complete collapse of government in Libya and the weapons bazaar that emerged there after Gadhafi's fall. But it seems that he was more frequently on the move, relying on a variety of Libyan allies. And that made him more vulnerable to being tracked and targeted," writes Tim Lister for CNN.
"But this isn't the first time authorities have claimed to have killed Belmokhtar, a militant believed to be 43 who reportedly lost his eye in combat and fought in Afghanistan. He was one of a number of Islamist fighters who have battled Algeria's government since the 1990s, later joining al-Qaida. Intelligence officials say Belmokhtar essentially built a bridge between AQIM and the underworld, creating a system where various blends of outlaws now support each other and enroll local youth," write Sarah el Deeb and Lolita C. Baldor for the Associated Press.
"Now is the time to play diplomatic hardball; when the Thursday deadline for an agreement passes, [Libya's] civil war is likely to intensify. This chaos is dangerous, but not only for Libya. Since late May, ISIS has been on the march, taking over a key airport, overrunning a military base and accepting the surrender of various tribal groups in central coastal Libya. And every day, barely seaworthy boats depart with human cargo toward Europe from Libya's coastline, which has become an unpatrolled, lawless sieve," write Brian Klaas and Jason Pack in the New York Times.