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Russia denies confirmation of Baghdadi's killing

News Agencies | Updated on: 16 June 2017, 23:58 IST

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that there is no confirmation yet that ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has been killed in one of its airstrikes in Syria last month and therefore has initiated investigations into May 28 airstrike.

"So far, I have no one-hundred percent confirmation of the information that Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has been killed," the minister said.

"All examples of such actions to 'decapitate' terror groups had always been presented with great enthusiasm and pomp, but experience shows that later these groups restored their combat capabilities. These groups, both IS and al-Qaeda both outlawed in Russia and their numerous reincarnations are still active," TASS quoted the minister as saying.

The May 28 airstrike was carried out on the outskirts of the militant group's de facto capital, Raqqa, on a command post where ISIS leaders were meeting, according to a ministry statement.

Earlier, the Russian Defence Ministry reported that Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi could have been killed by a Russian airstrike on the southern outskirts of Syria's Raqqa in late May.

But the United States has confirmed that Russia has conducted airstrikes on May 28 in Raqqa.

The Americans are investigating whether the strikes were in the precise area the Russians are claiming and whether there is any intelligence on who may have been in that location, the U.S. official said.

There have been previous reports of Baghdadi's death that later turned out to be false.


First published: 16 June 2017, 23:58 IST