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IS leader injured in 2017 airstrike: US officials

IANS  |  Washington 

Islamic State (IS) leader al-was injured in an airstrike in May 2017 and had to relinquish control of the group for up to five months, US officials told

agencies have assessed with a high degree of confidence that the world's most wanted man was near Raqqa, Syria, when the missile struck, the officials said late Sunday.

Their assessment is based on reports from IS detainees and refugees in that emerged months after the airstrike.

Baghdadi's were not considered life-threatening but they did mean he could not continue to command the daily operations of the group, said the officials.

However, it remains unclear whether was hit in a targeted attack or if he was part of "collateral damage".

The other factors that remain unclear are who fired the missile, the exact date of the strike or whether Baghdadi's was the result of a Russian missile.

"There have been isolated strikes by Russians in Raqqa, but as there's no timeline to it, we don't know if it's ours," a told

has made only one public appearance in July 2014 at the in Mosul, which was retaken by Iraqi security forces in June 2017.

IS has since released various audio messages it claims to be of Baghdadi.



(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, February 12 2018. 16:02 IST