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Islamic State leader al-Baghdadi 'in Libya'

SECURITY
Islamic State leader al-Baghdadi 'in Libya'

The leader of the so-called Islamic State jihadist group, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has fled to Libya and is based in the group's stronghold of Sirte, according to a report Wednesday by the semi-official Iranian news agency Fars.


Baghdadi travelled to Libya amid fears the United States-led coalition and Iraqi intelligence services were closing the net around him, Fars said.

He was seriously injured in an air strike in October by Iraq's air force in Western Anbar province. He was first taken to the group's self-styled capital of Raqqa in northern Syria, where doctors saved his life, but a lack of specialised medical equipment meant he needed to be moved, the report said.

He was then taken to Turkey for treatment and from there travelled to Libya, according to Fars.

'While everyone is looking for him in Iraq and Syria, no one expects him to be in Sirte," Fars quoted an unnamed Libyan source as saying.

The Muslim Brotherhood aligned Libya Dawn militia on Saturday reported al-Baghdadi's presence in Sirte on its Facebook page.

Al-Baghdadi was planning to lead an attack on the northwest coastal city of Misurata and the country's oilfields and was also plotting fresh attacks in Tunisia, according to Libya Dawn.



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