Isil leader Baghdadi ‘is still alive’, say Iraqi chiefs


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Russia had claimed it killed the elusive leader, who has not been seen in public since declaring Isil’s so-called caliphate from the Iraqi city of Mosul in July 2014, in an air strike on a meeting of senior Isil commanders near Raqqa on May 28.

Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is still alive and hiding in Syria, despite Russian reports of his death, Iraqi and Kurdish counter-terrorism officials have said.

“Baghdadi is definitely alive. He is not dead. We have information that he is alive. We believe 99 percent he is alive,” Lahur Talabany, a top Kurdish counter-terrorism official said in an interview on Monday.

Mr Talabany claimed the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil) leader was located somewhere south of Raqqa, the capital of the jihadist group’s so-called caliphate.

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