Reports of IS chief al-Baghdadi's 'death' send social media into tizzy

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Apr 27, 2015 19:25 IST

A report by state-run Radio Iran about the purported death of Islamic State chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi created a buzz on social media on Monday though there was no confirmation from any credible source.

Radio Iran reported that al-Baghdadi had “died in an Israeli hospital in the occupied Golan Heights where he had been hospitalised for treatment after sustaining severe injuries during a joint attack of the Iraqi army and popular forces”.

The report,

posted on Radio Iran’s website

, quoted sources as saying that al-Baghdadi “has been declared by his Israeli physicians and surgeons as to be now ‘clinically dead’”.

The report did not state when al-Baghdadi had died.

The report further said members of IS in Iraq had sworn allegiance to a leader named Abdul Rahman al-Sheijlar alias Abu Ala Afri as Baghdadi's successor.

Radio Iran attributed the information about al-Baghdadi’s purported death to two Iraqi news agencies, Alghad Press and Al-Youm Al-Thamen, and sources in the Iraqi city of Mosul.

The state-run All India Radio (AIR) posted

a news report about al-Baghdadi’s death on its website

that quoted Radio Iran.

AIR also tweeted about the development from its official handle.

The Guardian had recently reported that the terrorist leader was targeted in an airstrike in western Iraq, close to the Syria border, on March 18.

Hisham al-Hashimi, an Iraqi official who advises the government in Baghdad on IS, told the Guardian: “Yes, he was wounded in al-Baaj near the village of Umm al-Rous on 18 March with a group that was with him.”

However, the BBC reported there were conflicting reports about the fate of al-Baghdadi. While an Iraqi interior ministry spokesman told the BBC that al-Baghdadi was seriously wounded in a "coalition" air strike, the Pentagon said it had no information on his fate. Reports last year of the terrorist leader being injured were inaccurate.

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