Mokhtar Belmokhtar claimed responsibility for the seizure of dozens of foreign hostages at the In Amenas gas plant in Algeria in January in which more than 60 people were killed.
The Chadian claims of his death comes days after Chad's President Idriss Deby said soldiers in Mali had killed another leading al Qaeda commander in the Sahara, Adelhamid Abou Zeid.
French officials said they could not confirm the killing of either Abou Zeid or Belmokhtar.
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One story dominates Thursday's front pages with some newspapers printing emotive pleas to voters to keep the United Kingdom as one.
After a mild start temperatures should pick up, with the south of England seeing highs of 26C.
In Edinburgh tonight you can hear it and feel it. The buzz, the banter of the day and the thrilling sense something big is coming tomorrow.