Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi's death not 'confirmed', says US-led coalition, after Russia claims to have killed the IS leader

Beirut: The US-led coalition battling the Islamic State group has said that it could not confirm the death of the jihadists' leader following reports by the Russian army that he might have been killed.

File image of Islamic State chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Reuters

File image of Islamic State chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Reuters

"We cannot confirm these reports at this time", said US Army Colonel Ryan S Dillon, spokesman for the coalition's Operation Inherent Resolve in Syria and Iraq.

The Russian army said earlier that it hit Islamic State leaders in an air strike in Syria last month and was seeking to verify whether its chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi had been killed.

It said it had informed Washington of the 28 May strike near the jihadists' Syria stronghold of Raqa, which is now under assault by US-backed fighters.

"Senior commanders of the military groups of the so-called Islamic State military council, 30 mid-ranking field commanders and up to 300 militants who provided security for them were eliminated. Baghdadi was also present at the meeting and was eliminiated by the strike", it said.

Updated Date: Jun 16, 2017 15:24 PM

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