Iraq’s security services were attempting Monday to confirm reports that Islamic State group leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was wounded in a Iraqi strike his convoy.
“We’re still collecting and cross-checking information to achieve an accurate assessment,” interior ministry spokesman
The security forces in Iraq said in a statement Sunday that Baghdadi’s convoy had struck as it was heading to an ISIS direction meeting in Karabla, close to the border.
The statement said the building hosting the meeting was also attacked.
Security sources have in the past made similar claims that were never verified and pro- the latest announcement in Baghdad was mocked by ISIS reports.
Officials in Anbar, the vast Sunni state where Karabla is located, said yet their advice implied the evasive jihadist supremo was wounded in the strike.
Rafa al-Fahdawi, the leader of an organisation grouping Anbar tribes opposed to ISIS, said the assembly in Karabla took place in a home that belonged to a local politician and was occupied by IS.
“According to former members of the security forces living there, Baghdadi was seriously wounded and several Daesh leaders were killed,” he told AFP, having an Arabic acronym for ISIS.
A senior security officer in Anbar also said he had received reports suggesting Baghdadi was at least injure in the strike on his convoy.
ISIS firmly commands long stretches of the Euphrates valley on both sides of the border, that was effectively abolished a year ago, when the jihadist group found a massive offensive in Iraq.
The Iraqi jihadist chief, said to have been born in 1971, has a $10 million US bounty on his head.