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Islamic State leader Abu Ibrahim al-Qurayshi killed in Syria, US says

The leader of the Islamic State (IS) group has been killed in an overnight US special forces raid in north-western Syria, US President Joe Biden has said.

“Thanks to the skill and bravery of our armed forces, we have taken off the battlefield Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurayshi,” President Joe Biden said.

“All Americans have returned safely from the operation,” he added.

Biden said al-Qurayshi died as al-Baghdadi did, by exploding a bomb that killed himself and members of his family, including women and children, as US forces approached.

Syrian first responders said they found the bodies of 13 people after the raid.

The operation came as IS has been trying for a resurgence, with a series of attacks in the region, including an assault late last month to seize a prison in northeast Syria holding at least 3,000 IS detainees, it’s boldest operation in years.

Several US helicopters reportedly landed on the outskirts of the opposition-held town of Atmeh, which is in northern Idlib province and is close to the border with Turkey, around midnight on Thursday (22:00 GMT on Wednesday).

Local sources said the troops faced stiff resistance on the ground, and that they came under fire from heavy anti-aircraft guns mounted on vehicles.

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