ISIS’s ‘Omar the Chechen’ confirmed dead
Shishani - the nom de guerre of Tarkhan Batirashvili - was one of the ISIS leaders most wanted by Washington
A top Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) group commander known as “Omar the Chechen” is dead after suffering injuries in a US-led coalition strike in northeastern Syria, the Pentagon confirmed Monday.
The announcement would appear to clear up the fate of the notorious Omar al-Shishani, a week after a US official said the most-wanted militant had been targeted in a March 4 attack on the extremist’s convoy.
“We believe he subsequently died of his injuries,” Navy Captain Jeff Davis, a Pentagon spokesman, told AFP.
But a news agency that supports ISIS on Tuesday denied reports that al-Shishani had been killed or wounded.
Amaq agency quoted a source saying Shishani "had not been exposed to any injury".
ISIS has not issued a formal statement on Shishani, and it was not possible to independently establish his condition.
Born in 1986 in Georgia, which was then still part of the Soviet Union, the red-bearded Shishani had a reputation as a close military adviser to ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
Shishani - the nom de guerre of Tarkhan Batirashvili - was one of the ISIS leaders most wanted by Washington, which put a $5 million bounty on his head.
On Sunday, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group said Shishani had been “clinically dead” for several days.
(with AFP and Reuters)
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