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Iraq Reports Killing of IS Deputy in Airstrike, US Cannot Confirm

  • VOA News

Iraq's defense ministry said Wednesday that a coalition airstrike had killed the Islamic State group's deputy commander, a claim the U.S. military said it could not confirm.

The airstrike targeted Abu Alaa al-Afari and others as they met at a mosque in the northern city of Tal Afar, according to a defense ministry statement. He is said to be the second-in-command to Abu Baker al Baghdadi.

But U.S. Central Command issued its own statement later saying it had "no information to corroborate" the reported killing and that aircraft from the U.S.-led coalition "did not strike a mosque."

The Iraqi government has previously reported airstrikes hitting Islamic State leaders with the Pentagon denying the claims.

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