New audio message from ISIS chief Bhagdadi released

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Amidst conflicting reports of whether Islamic State chief Abu Bakr al-Bhagdadi is alive or not, an audio clip calling on the outfit's soldiers to carry out attacks has been released. The 46 minute video was released via the al-Furqan, a forum linked to the ISIS.

Islamic State chief Abu Bakr al Bhagdadi

It was however not clear when the audio was recorded. Experts who track the Islamic State said the audio message, shared on the Islamic State's channels on the Telegram encrypted messaging app, used terms to refer to him that suggested he is alive. The Islamic State had last released a speech by al-Baghdadi in November 2016.

There have been conflicting reports about the fate of al-Baghdadi since late May. The Russian military said the Islamic State chief might have been killed with other top commanders in an air strike on a location near Raqqa in Syria on May 28.

But a top Kurdish counter-terrorism official said in July that he was 99% sure al-Baghdadi was alive and located south of Raqqa.

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