Mali operation has killed terror chiefs - France

President Francois Hollande said two "terrorist leaders" were killed in the military campaign.

Islamists rebels of Ansar Dine near Timbuktu, in rebel-held northern Mali. Picture: AFP

WARSAW - French President Francois Hollande said on Wednesday that a military campaign against Islamist rebels in Mali had killed two "terrorist leaders", without clarifying whether he was referring to two al Qaeda commanders reported dead last week.

"We have launched an offensive in two directions, the first in the Ifoghas mountain range, and there we have had successes that will be further confirmed in the coming days, including the killing of terrorist leaders," Hollande told a news conference in Warsaw where he was attending a regional leaders event.

Chad has said that its soldiers, fighting alongside the French, have killed two top commanders from al Qaeda's north African wing, Abdelhamid Abou Zeid and Mokhtar Belmokhtar, but Paris has so far said it could not confirm the reports.