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Kremlin says Russian special services checking info on IS leader’s liquidation

Contradictory information is coming, the Kremlin spokesman noted

MOSCOW, July 17. /TASS/. The Kremlin has no confirmed information on whether or not leader of the Islamic State terrorist grouping (outlawed in Russia) Abu Bakr al-Bahgdadi has been liquidated, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Monday.

"We don’t have some more accurate data," he told journalists.

"Indeed, contradictory information is coming. Our relevant services are currently checking it," the Kremlin spokesman said.

Director of the Iraqi Interior Ministry’s Intelligence and Counter-Terrorism Operations Service Abu Ali al-Basri said on Sunday that leader of the Islamic State terror group Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was alive and was hiding in Syria.

Al Sumaria television channel said on July 11 citing a source in Iraq’s Nineveh province that Islamic State militants had reported the death of their leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. According to the television channel, Islamic State issued a brief statement on al-Baghdadi’s death where they said the name of a "new caliph" would be announced soon.

Earlier, Iranian media outlets circulated photos confirming al-Baghdadi’s death. Russia’s Defense Ministry reported in mid-June that al-Baghdadi and 300 more Islamic State militants had been presumably killed in a Russian airstrike on Raqqa’s southern suburb.

On July 14, US Defense Secretary James Mattis said the US side could not confirm al-Baghdadi’s death.