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Islamic State Releases Purported Audio Message From Leader Baghdadi

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in Mosul (file photo)
Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in Mosul (file photo)

The extremist group Islamic State (IS) has released what it says is a new audio recording of its leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

The date of the 46-minute recording, released via the IS-linked Al-Furqan news organization on September 28, was not clear.

In the recording, a speaker who sounds like the IS leader appears to refer to recent North Korean threats against Japan and United States. He also talks of battles for IS strongholds like Mosul, which Iraqi forces recaptured in July.

The last purported audio message from Baghdadi was released in November 2016.

Russia's army said in June that it was trying to verify whether he had died in a Russian air strike in Syria. A U.S. military commander said last month that the IS leader was probably still alive.

IS fighters, who captured large swathes of Syrian and Iraqi territory in 2014, have suffered a number of major setbacks in recent months.

Based on reporting by AP and Reuters