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Iraq Claims Air Raid Hits IS Leader Baghdadi's Convoy


FILE - Image taken a from video shows a man purported to be Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, senior leader of the Islamic State militant group.

The Iraqi military claims to have struck the convoy of Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in an air raid in Western Anbar province near the Syrian border.

"The Iraqi air force carried out a heroic operation targeting the convoy of the criminal terrorist Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi," an Iraq security forces statement said.

Baghdadi was on his way to Karabla to attend a meeting with Daesh commanders, the statement read, using the Arabic acronym for Islamic State. A number of the group's leaders were reportedly killed or wounded.

The fate of the extremist leader is unknown. Baghdadi has declared himself the head of a caliphate in areas his ultrahardline Sunni group controls in Iraq and Syria.

Anti-Islamic State coalition spokesman U.S. Col. Steve Warren said U.S. officials have "seen the Iraqi statement about al-Baghdadi but have no information that confirms it."

Iraqi claims Baghdadi had been injured or killed in past strikes were not verified or were later denied.