London: Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of Islamic State, has been seriously wounded in an air strike in western Iraq, a media report said today. According to the report, Baghdadi, 44, suffered life- threatening injuries during the attack by the US-led coalition in March.
This July 5, 2014 file video grab taken from a propaganda video by al-Furqan Media allegedly shows the leader of the Islamic State (IS) jihadist group, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, aka Caliph Ibrahim, adressing Muslim worshippers at a mosque in the militant-held northern Iraqi city of Mosul. Pic/ AFP PHOTO / HO / AL-FURQAN MEDIA
Two officials a western diplomat and an Iraqi adviser confirmed the strike took place on March 18 in the al-Baaj a district of Nineveh, close to the Syrian border, The Guardian reported. "Yes, he was wounded in al-Baaj near the village of Umm al-Rous on 18 March with a group that was with him," Hisham al-Hashimi, an Iraqi official who advises Iraq on IS, was quoted by the newspaper as saying.
Baghdadi has made a slow recovery since then. He, however, has not resumed day-to-day control of the organisation. Baghdadi's injuries led to urgent meetings of Islamic State leaders, who initially believed he would die and made plans to name a new leader, the newspaper quoted sources as saying. There had been two previous reports in November and December of Baghdadi being wounded, though neither was accurate.