Wednesday 26 July 2017

Fate of Isil chief unclear as strike kills eight leaders

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi
Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi

Ahmed Rasheed

Eight senior figures from Islamic State were killed in an air strike while meeting in a town in western Iraq, but the group's reclusive leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, did not appear to be among them.

Iraq said its air force had hit the meeting and had also struck a convoy that was carrying Baghdadi to attend it. It said Baghdadi had been driven away from the convoy in an unknown condition.

Baghdadi has survived a year of US-led air strikes and wars in two countries since proclaiming himself caliph of all Muslims, after his forces swept most of northern Iraq last year.

A Twitter account which publishes statements from Isil said "rumours" that the strike had hit Baghdadi were false.

The Iraqi military said in a statement: "Air forces have bombed the convoy of the terrorist Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi while he was heading to Karabla to attend a meeting with Daesh commanders."

Sources said airstrikes hit two houses and killed eight senior local leaders of an ISIL police force in the town.

One Isil supporter tweeted: "Do you think we would leave the State of the caliphate and abandon it, oh vile world?"

Irish Independent

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