The enigmatic chief of Islamic State jihadist group Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is dead, Radio Iran has reported on Monday.
Earlier, a Guardian report quoting sources with inside knowledge of the group reported that al-Baghdadi was severely injured in a US-led coalition air strike in March.
According to that report, al-Baghdadi was inujred at al-Baaj district of Nineveh, close to the Syrian border. It also said he was making a slow recovery and was out of his day-to-day control of the jihadist group.
ISIS suffered a series of major setbacks in the recent months with many of its top commanders being killed or severely injured.
Recently, a top Iraqi military commander Lieutenant General Abdul Amir al Shammari told Sky News that his forces had killed “more than 250 terrorists in the past few days”.
He said this had been achieved with assistance from the Iraqi air force, military helicopters and coalition air strikes. “The coalition strikes provided cover for our troops to push forward.”
Under the leadership of al-Baghdadi, the Islamic State, which called itself as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) earlier, had gained ground across northern and western Iraq in a lightning advance in June and July last year, causing several of Iraq’s army and police divisions to fall into disarray.
It had carried out thousands of public executions using brutal methods and implemented strict Islamic law in areas they captured, which sent shockwave across the global community.