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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.

An 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”.