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Syrian Monitoring Group Says IS Leader Baghdadi Is Dead


Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi (file photo)

The London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says it has received "confirmed information" from sources within the Islamic State (IS) terrorist group that IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is dead.

In a statement on July 11, observatory head Rami Abdel Rahman said Baghdadi died in Deir al-Zor Province in eastern Syria, but he did not say when or how.

Both the White House and U.S. military officials said they were unable to confirm Baghdadi's death.

Sebastian Gorka, a senior adviser to President Donald Trump, told U.S. media on July 11 that the United States could not immediately verify the report.

In Iraq, U.S. Army Colonel Ryan Dillon, spokesman for the U.S.-led coalition fighting IS, said he could not confirm the news.

Kurdish and Iraqi officials also had no immediate confirmation.

Earlier in the day, Iraq's Al-Sumaria television station cited an IS source as confirming Baghdadi's death.

One month ago, Russia's Defense Ministry announced it believed it had killed Baghdadi in an air strike near the city of Raqqa, in Deir al-Zor, on May 28.

Known IS-affiliated social-media accounts have not issued any comment.

Baghdadi's death has been erroneously announced several times in the past.

Based on reporting by Reuters, AFP, and AP
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