ISIS Chief Al Baghdadi Wounded in Airstrike?

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Iraq’s Defense and Interior Ministries issued statements saying Al Baghdadi had been wounded, without elaborating.  

Associated Press

BAGHDAD – Iraqi officials said on Sunday that an airstrike wounded the leader of the ISIS group, Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi. Pentagon officials said they had no immediate information on such a strike or Al Baghdadi being wounded.

Iraq’s Defense and Interior Ministries issued statements saying Al Baghdadi had been wounded, without elaborating.

An Interior Ministry intelligence official said that Al Baghdadi was hit during a meeting on Saturday with militants in the town of Qaim in Iraq’s western Anbar province. The official, citing informants within the militant group, said the strike wounded Al Baghdadi. A senior Iraqi military official also said he learned in operational meetings that Al Baghdadi had been wounded.

Both officials said the operation was carried out by Iraqi security forces. Neither knew the extent of Al Baghdadi’s apparent injuries.

Both spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss confidential material. State television later also reported that Al Baghdadi had been wounded.

Al Baghdadi, an ambitious Iraqi militant believed to be in his early 40s, has a $10 million US bounty on his head. Since taking the reins of the group in 2010, he has transformed it from a local branch of Al Qaeda into an independent transnational military force, positioning himself as perhaps the pre-eminent figure in the global jihadi community.

The reclusive leader is purported to have made only one public appearance, delivering a sermon at a mosque in Iraq’s second-largest city of Mosul, as seen in a video posted online in June. Al Baghdadi’s purported appearance in Mosul came five days after his group declared the establishment of a caliphate in the territories it holds in Iraq and Syria. The group proclaimed Al Baghdadi its leader and demanded that all Muslims pledge allegiance to him.

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