October 12, 2015 / 9:50 AM / in 2 years

Islamic State leader probably not in targeted convoy: Iraqi security officials

CAIRO (Reuters) - Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was probably not in a convoy hit by air strikes near the Syrian border on Sunday, senior Iraqi security officials said on Monday.

A man purported to be the reclusive leader of the militant Islamic State Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi at a mosque in the centre of Iraq's second city, Mosul, according to a video recording posted on the Internet on July 5, 2014, in this still image taken from video. REUTERS/Social Media Website via Reuters TV/Files

Iraq’s military had said that the reclusive Baghdadi was taken away in a car after the assault on his entourage in a town near the Syrian border.

But one of the senior security officials said preliminary information now indicated the convoy actually carried lower ranking Islamic State figures, led by Abu Saad al-Karbouli, a senior local Islamic State policeman.

“After assessing all information we received from our sources, it’s more likely that the convoy we struck was not carrying Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi,” said one of the officials.

“We are still carrying out extensive efforts to clarify the situation.”

This was at least the third time there has been an attack on Baghdadi’s entourage.

Reporting by Ahmed Rasheed; Writing by Michael Georgy; Editing by Andrew Heavens

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