Islamic State leader's death cannot be confirmed - Russia

  • 17/06/2017
Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi
Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Photo credit: Getty

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov says he can't definitively confirm the death of the Islamic State group's leader in a Russian airstrike.

The Russian Defense Ministry claimed earlier on Friday that IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was killed in a Russian strike in late May, adding that the information about his death was still "being verified through various channels."

Asked about the claim at a news conference in Moscow, Mr Lavrov said: "I don't have a 100 percent confirmation of the information."

He added on a cautious note that if al-Baghdadi's death is confirmed, its importance mustn't be overestimated.

Mr Lavrov said that "past examples of similar actions to strike the leadership of terrorist groups were presented with much enthusiasm and pomp, but the experience shows that those structures later regained their capability."

Reuters