Islamic State releases purported recording of leader al-Baghdadi



CAIRO (dpa)- Islamic State on Thursday released a purported audio recording of its leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, in which he vows to continue fighting despite the extremist group's military setbacks.
The 46-minute audio, which has no specific date, was released by Islamic State's al-Furqan media arm.
It seems to be aimed at dispelling claims that al-Baghdadi had been killed in Syria.



In June, Russia claimed it could have killed al-Baghdadi in an airstrike around al-Raqqa, Islamic State's de facto capital in north-eastern Syria, a month earlier.
The audio refers to recent events, including a controversial independence vote by Iraq's autonomous region of Kurdistan and North Korea's nuclear tests.
In the purported recording, al-Baghdadi acknowledges recent territorial losses by Islamic State in Iraq, neighbouring Syria and Libya.
"This will not dissuade jihadists from their jihad."
He also called on his followers "not to retreat, negotiate or surrender" against separate campaigns led by the United States and Russia.
"Oh soldiers of Caliphate and heroes of Islam, trigger the flame of war against your enemy," the tape says.
The Pentagon said it was not aware of any such recording.
Al-Baghdadi's last public appearance dates back to June 2014, when he delivered a sermon at a mosque in Iraq's Mosul.
He has since released some audio recordings.
Over the years there have been multiple claims of al-Baghdadi's death that were later proven false.
In December, the US increased the reward for information that could lead to him to 25 million dollars from 10 million dollars.
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Friday, September 29th 2017
dpa
           


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