ALGIERS, Feb 1: A leading member of Al Qaeda’s North African branch has surrendered to Algerian authorities, several newspapers reported on Sunday, citing security sources.

Ali Ben Touati, said to be a key leader of Al Qaeda, gave himself up in Yakouren in the Tizi Ouzou region east of the capital Algiers, the El Watan and Algerie News newspapers said.

According to the reports, Ben Touati, also known as Abou Tamime, said he was responding to a recent appeal by one of the leading militants in Algeria, Hassan Hattab.

Hattab called on militants to end their armed campaign in a message earlier this month in which he urged his followers to take advantage of a government amnesty. Al Qaeda’s North African offshoot has claimed responsibility for a wave of suicide attacks.—AFP

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