A Malian soldier walks in the street as Malian troops work with French forces to battle radical Islamic rebels in Gao on February 21, 2013.

Algiers - French forces in Mali have killed Abdelhamid Abu Zeid, a leading field commander of al Qaeda's north Africa wing AQIM, Algerian Ennahar television said.

The station said 40 militants including Abu Zeid were killed in the region of Tigargara, northern Mali three days ago. A French Defence Ministry official declined to comment on the report. Algeria did not confirm the killing. - Reuters