IS confirms Baghdadi’s death

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Beirut

The Islamic State militant group confirmed the death of its leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in a statement and named his replacement as Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Quraishi. “We mourn you … commander of the faithful,” said Abu Hamza al-Quraishi — presented as the group’s new spokesman — in an audio statement. Baghdadi, who led IS since 2014 and was the world’s most wanted man, was killed in a US special forces raid in Syria’s province of Idlib on Sunday. The group also confirmed the killing in another raid the following day of the group’s previous spokesman Abu Hassan al-Muhajir. The statement said the group’s legislative and consultative body convened after the 48-year-old Iraqi-born jihadist chief’s death. “The Islamic State shura council convened immediately after confirming the martyrdom of Sheikh Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, and the elders of the holy warriors agreed” on a replacement, said the seven-minute message.— AFP