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UK Probes Reports of Injury to Beheadings Suspect

  • Reuters

FILE - This image from video posted in July purports to show Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi delivering a sermon in Iraq; he's said to have been wounded with beheadings suspect "Jihadi John" in an airstrike last Saturday.

FILE - This image from video posted in July purports to show Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi delivering a sermon in Iraq; he's said to have been wounded with beheadings suspect "Jihadi John" in an airstrike last Saturday.

Britain said Saturday that it was investigating reports that a man believed to be a British national suspected of carrying out beheadings in videos released by Islamic State militants had been wounded in a U.S.-led airstrike last week.

The man, dubbed "Jihadi John" by the British media, was believed to have been injured in an air attack on a summit of IS leaders in an Iraqi town close to the Syrian border last Saturday, Britain's Mail on Sunday newspaper reported.

The group's leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, was also said to have been wounded in the attack, the paper added.

"We are aware of reports," a British Foreign Office spokeswoman said. "We cannot confirm these reports."

A speech purporting to be by Baghdadi was released Thursday following contradictory accounts out of Iraq that he had been wounded last Friday in U.S. airstrikes.

U.S. officials said Tuesday that they could not confirm whether Baghdadi had been hit in a strike near Fallujah.

According to the Mail on Sunday, which said its source was an unnamed nurse, "Jihadi John," Baghdadi and other wounded IS figures were taken to a hospital and then driven to the Syrian city of Raqqa. The paper said it was not clear how serious their injuries were.

In videos released by the Islamic State group, the masked, black-clad militant brandishing a knife and speaking with an English accent appears to have carried out the beheadings of two Americans and two Britons.

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