After declaring him dead, Russia says no information on Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi's fate

Moscow: Russia said on Thursday that it has no information on the fate of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the chief of the Islamic State terror group, nearly a week after the Russian military said it may have killed him in an airstrike. "I have got nothing (to report)," the Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said when asked to comment on the possible death of Baghdadi in Syria last month.

File image of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Reuters

File image of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Reuters

The Russian foreign ministry has no information on the fate of the Islamic State's leader al-Baghdadi, Zakharova was quoted as saying by the official Tass news agency. Her comments came two days after the Russian deputy foreign minister Gennady Gatilov said the liquidation of al-Baghdadi has not yet been confirmed.

Last Friday, the Russian defense ministry reported that Baghdadi had been presumably killed by the airstrike on Raqqa's southern suburbs carried out by Russian warplanes. According to the ministry, the airstrike was conducted on 28 May on a command post where the Islamic State leaders were discussing exit routes for militants from Raqqa through the so-called southern corridor.

US defense officials last week said they were unable to confirm the reports about Baghdadi's death. There have been a number of previous reports of Baghdadi's death or him being critically injured by US-led coalition air strikes. Baghdadi has not been seen in public since proclaiming himself "caliph" in the Iraqi city of Mosul three years ago.

In October 2011, the US officially designated Baghdadi as a "terrorist". It has offered a reward of up to $25 million for information leading to his capture or death. The IS terror group is known for imposing a hard-line form of Islam that has included stonings, amputations and beheadings.


Published Date: Jun 22, 2017 06:41 pm | Updated Date: Jun 22, 2017 06:41 pm


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