Key IS leader Haji Imam killed in US raid

Washington: The Pentagon announced on Friday a senior Islamic State commander in Syria believed to be in line to lead the extremist group had been killed by the US.

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Abd al-Rahman Mustafa al-Qaduli, also known as Haji Imam or al-Afri, served as IS's finance minister, and was killed this week by US military, US defence chief Ash Carter said here at a Pentagon briefing.

"We've taken out the leader who oversees the funding for ISIL's operations, hurting their ability to pay fighters and hire recruits," said Carter, adding that the US-led coalition was 'systematically eliminating' IS's cabinet.

Carter refused to offer details about the operation against al- Afri, whom many analysts consider the extremist group's second-in- command.

Meanwhile, Carter acknowledged that striking IS leadership was far from sufficient, noting that 'leaders can be replaced.'

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