IS releases purported audio message from top leader

AP Photo
The Associated Press

CAIRO (AP) — The Islamic State group has released what it says is a new audio recording of its top leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, indicating he may still be alive.

The recording was released by the IS-run al-Furqan outlet Thursday and the voice sounded like previous recordings of the reclusive leader, who has only appeared in public once. The last purported audio message from al-Baghdadi was released in November.

Russian officials said in June there was a “high probability” that al-Baghdadi died in a Russian airstrike on the outskirts of the Syrian city of Raqqa, the de facto capital of the extremist group. But U.S. officials later said they believed he was still alive.

IS has suffered a number of major setbacks in Iraq and Syria in recent months.

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