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Russian Military Says IS Leader Baghdadi May Have Died in Air Strike

In a major development, Russia has said that its defence ministry is probing if one of its air strikes in Syria killed Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, leader of the militant group Islamic State (IS).

News18.com

Updated:June 16, 2017, 2:01 PM IST
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Russian Military Says IS Leader Baghdadi May Have Died in Air Strike
In this still image taken from video, a man purported to be the reclusive leader of the militant Islamic State Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi addresses public at a mosque in Mosul (Iraq). (Photo: Reuters/Social Media Website via Reuters TV)

Moscow:  Russia has said that its defence ministry is probing if one of its air strikes in Syria killed Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, leader of the militant group Islamic State (IS).

The ministry said that an air strike may have killed Baghdadi and around 300 other fighters on 28th May. The statement was published by state-funded Sputnik News Agency.

The raid, it said, had targeted the meeting of the IS military council in Raqqa in northern Syria which reportedly had 30 IS commanders and up to 300 soldiers in attendance. This is not the first time reports of Baghdadi’s death have surfaced.

A statement by Russia's defence ministry published by the state-funded Sputnik news agency said 30 IS commanders and up to 300 soldiers were at the Raqqa meeting.

Baghdadi's whereabouts have been unknown for some time, although he was believed to be in Mosul in Iraq. This was before a US-led coalition began an effort to reclaim the city in October 2016.

The last time, and the only time, Baghdadi appeared on public sphere was in a video in June 2014 in which he was seen delivering a sermon in Mosul after IS took control of the city.

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| Edited by: Ashish Yechury
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