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New Leader Named By IS Group

The Islamic State (IS) group has confirmed the death of its leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, and named his successor.

IS FlagAn IS outlet on messaging service Telegram named Abu Ibrahim al-Hashemi al-Qurayshi the new leader and “caliph”.

US special forces tracked down Baghdadi in north-west Syria at the weekend and attacked his compound. The IS leader fled into a tunnel and killed himself with a suicide vest.

Baghdadi was declared leader of the extremist group in 2014 when IS took control of huge swathes of Iraq and Syria and imposed its rule over the civilian population.

In an audio message, IS also confirmed the death of spokesman Abu al-Hasan al-Muhajir – who was killed in a separate joint US-Kurdish operation on 27 October. The Saudi national had been considered a potential successor to Baghdadi. New IS spokesman Abu Hamza al-Qurayshi also called on Muslims to swear allegiance to Abu Ibrahim al-Hashemi.

Meanwhile, the US has released its first images of the raid that targeted Baghdadi. The head of US Central Command, Gen Kenneth McKenzie, said the destroyed buildings were left looking like “a parking lot with large potholes”.

Ballistic Missile Tested By Russia

Russia has successfully test-fired an intercontinental ballistic missile from its latest nuclear-powered submarine, the country’s defence ministry says.

Missile TestFootage captured overnight shows the release of the so-called Bulava missile from an underwater position in the White Sea, the ministry said. It was fired from Russia’s new Prince Vladimir submarine and was reported to have travelled thousands of kilometres.

The submarine is expected to be operational by the end of the year.

Completed in the early hours of Thursday, the Bulava missile launch – the first of its kind from the Prince Vladimir – was one of many weapons tests expected to take place in the coming weeks.

The missile successfully travelled from the White Sea in the north-western Arkhangelsk region to the Kura missile test range in Russia’s far east, the defence ministry said in a statement.

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Syrian Intelligence Officers Charged With Crimes Against Humanity

A court in Germany has charged two suspected former Syrian intelligence officers with crimes against humanity.

Tortured SyrianOne of them, Anwar R., is suspected of being involved in the torture of at least 4,000 people in 2011-12. This resulted in the deaths of 58 people. The other suspect, Eyad A, is charged with torture in at least 30 cases.

Key evidence was gathered after a UN exhibition in 2015, which depicted the corpses of torture victims in Syria under President Bashar al-Assad.

The trial of the two men, who were arrested in Berlin and Rhineland-Palatinate state in February, is expected to start in the western city of Koblenz early next year. Neither the suspects nor President Bashar’s government have commented on the case.

German federal prosecutors say the two men had been members of Syria’s General Intelligence Directorate (GID) in the Damascus area.

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Armed Police Officer Hit By Car

A police officer has been hit by a car which had been pulled over in an “intelligence led stop” in Tottenham.

Police TottenhamThe vehicle was stopped by armed police in White Hart Lane at about 11:30 GMT and struck the officer when it was driven off “at speed”, the Met said.

London Ambulance Service said the firearms officer suffered a minor injury and had been driven to hospital.

No arrests have been made and “inquiries are under way to locate the suspects and the vehicle,” police said.

London Jewellery Robber Apprehended By Public

Members of the public caught and held on to a suspect running away from an armed raid on a jewellery shop.

Jewellery Raid The owner of the shop, in west London, said he feared for his life when men armed with sledgehammers smashed their way into the store in Shepherd’s Bush.

Police said a car was driven into Sultan’s on Friday evening on Uxbridge Road.

A 34-year-old man has been charged with robbery, dangerous driving and possessing an offensive weapon. He also faces charges of criminal damage and receiving stolen goods.

Co-owner Jamal Sarhan said he was inside with a customer and some children and pleaded with the men not to hurt anyone. “I told them to take whatever they liked but ‘please do not hurt anyone’. “I thought I was not going to see my kids again,” he said.

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