The jihadist group Islamic State (IS) 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.
The US said he was killed in an operation by the Free Syrian Army – a rebel group – in southern Syria. 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. As with the previous announcement, the spokesman refrained from revealing his real name, nationality or background. He described Abu al-Hussein as “one of the veteran mujahidin” and urged the group’s supporters to pledge allegiance to him.