Several senior commanders of Islamic state, ISIS,Â were killed in an Iraqi airstrike near the border with Syria. According to a Reuters reports the groupâ€™s leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, was not among them.
The Iraqi military claimed in a statement earlier on Sunday that the raid had hit Baghdadiâ€™s convoy as it travelled to a meeting in Karabla, a town in the western province of Anbar in Iraq.
The whereabouts of Baghdadi, who has declared himself the leader of a caliphate in Iraq and Syria,Â have mostly been unknown.
â€œIraqi air forces have bombed the convoy of the terrorist Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi while he was heading to Karabla to attend a meeting with Daesh commanders,â€ an Iraqi air force statement said, using the Arabic acronym for Isis.
Karabla is located barely three miles from the border with Syria. The statement did not make clear when the strike was carried out.
Iraqi security sources have claimed in the past that Baghdadi has been injured or killed in strikes, but those claims have never been verified or were later denied. In April it was reported that he had been injured in a strike, but months later a voice recording claiming to be Baghdadi was released in an attempt to dispel the rumour.