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Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi may have been killed in an air strike by Russian forces in on the outskirts of Raqqa in Syria, last month, unconfirmed reports from Moscow said.

"According to the information which is now being checked via various channels, also present at the meeting was Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who was eliminated as a result of the strike", the ministry said.

Russian state media reports Al-Baghdadi may have been killed in the May 28 airstrike near the Syrian city of Raqqa.

The Russian Federation is now claiming credit for having killed the elusive ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

The statement added that ISIS leaders had assembled at their command base, in Raqqa, to discuss strategies and possible routes for the terrorists to re-strategize from the city.

"Baghdadi is present in Iraq and not in Syria", he told Asharq Al-Awsat, saying ISIS is now run by a 12-member leadership council that practically leads the terrorist organization.

The US government, which is leading a separate bombing campaign, said it could not corroborate Baghdadi's death and Western and Iraqi officials were sceptical.

The report of al-Baghdadi's death comes as the Islamic State suffers major setbacks in which it has lost wide swaths of territory.

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In Iraq, the US -backed government has been battling to recapture Mosul since October past year after driving the group out of most of the rest of the territory it had seized.

Russian Federation sent an air force contingent to Syria in September 2015 to shore up President Bashar al-Assad, bombing both IS and other rebel groups opposed to the government. Both attacks would have occurred after al-Baghdadi's alleged killing.

On Monday, IS released an audio message from its chief spokesman, Abu al-Hassan al-Muhajer, urging supporters to carry out attacks in the United States and Europe during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

The Russian military said the USA was informed about the venue and the time of the strike in due time.

The Russian military sent drones to monitor the area and then dispatched a group of Su-34 bombers and Su-35 fighter jets to hit the IS gathering.

The claims have emerged as Russia's defence ministry has started an investigation as to whether one of their air strikes on Syria could have been responsible for the militants's death.

A character shrouded in mystery, Baghdadi's real name may be Ibrahim Awwad Ibrahim al-Badri, and he may have been born in 1971 in Samarra, an ancient Iraqi city in the so-called Sunni Triangle north of Baghdad.

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