The jihadist group Islamic State (IS) has announced the death of its leader, Abu al-Hassan al-Hashemi al-Qurayshi. An audio message from the group’s spokesman said he was killed while fighting what he called “the enemies of God”, but he gave no further details.
He became leader in March, after his predecessor blew himself up during a raid by US forces in north-east Syria. The spokesman named his replacement as Abu al-Hussein al-Husseini al-Qurayshi – another apparent nom-de-guerre.
Very little was known about Abu al-Hassan, who never issued any statements in his name as leader. But on Monday, an anti-IS Telegram channel supportive of rival jihadist group al-Qaeda said he had been killed “some time ago”.