U.S President Donald Trump says the fugitive leader of the Islamic State (IS) group has been killed in a US military operation in northwest Syria.
Speaking from the White House, Trump said Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi detonated his suicide vest during a raid by special forces late on Saturday.
Baghdadi came to prominence in 2014, when he announced the creation of a “caliphate” in areas of Iraq and Syria.
IS carried out a number of atrocities that resulted in thousands of deaths.
The jihadist group imposed a brutal rule on almost eight million people in the areas under its control and was behind a number of attacks in cities around the world.
The US declared the “caliphate” defeated earlier this year.; however no US soldiers had been killed but a number of Baghdadi’s followers died in this latest attack.
According to the BBC, Baghdadi, whose real name was Ibrahim Awwad Ibrahim al-Badri, had a reputation as a highly organised and ruthless battlefield tactician.
He was described as the world’s most wanted man.
He was born near Samarra, north of Baghdad, in 1971, and reports suggest he was a cleric in a mosque in the city around the time of the US-led invasion in 2003.
Some believe he was already a jihadist during the rule of former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein.
Watch LIVE from The Sun – Donald Trump’s announcement on the death of IS leader Baghdadi.