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U.S.-led coalition unsure if Islamic State's Baghdadi dead or alive
June 23, 2017 / 3:50 PM / in a month

U.S.-led coalition unsure if Islamic State's Baghdadi dead or alive

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FILE PHOTO: A man purported to be the reclusive leader of the militant Islamic State Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi making what would have been his first public appearance, at a mosque in the centre of Iraq's second city, Mosul, according to a video recording posted on the Internet on July 5, 2014, in this still image taken from video. Social Media Website via Reuters TV/File Photo

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S.-led coalition battling Islamic State said on Friday it had no concrete evidence on whether the militant group's leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was dead or alive but played down any significance he might have on the battlefields of Iraq and Syria.

"We certainly know that if he is still alive, we expect that he is not being able to influence what is currently happening in Raqqa or Mosul or overall in the ISIS as they continue to lose their physical caliphate," coalition spokesman U.S. Army Colonel Ryan Dillon told a Pentagon briefing, using an acronym for the militant group.

"That said, we don't have any concrete evidence on whether or not he's dead either."

Reporting by Phil Stewart; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama

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