IS 'leader' al-Baghdadi appears in first video in five years

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29 April 2019

A man believed to be the leader of the Islamic State militant group has made a rare appearance on camera vowing to seek revenge following the loss of territory, ONA reports citing BBC.

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has not been seen since July 2014, when he proclaimed from Mosul the creation of a "caliphate" across parts of Syria and Iraq.

In this new footage, he acknowledges defeat at Baghuz, the group's last stronghold in the region.

It is not clear when the video, posted on the group's al-Furqan media network, was recorded - IS claims in April.

However, as well as referencing the fall of the Iraqi town of Baghuz, he also speaks about the Easter Sunday Sri Lanka attacks, as well as pledges of allegiance from militants in Burkina Faso and Mali.

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THE OPERATION IS BEING PERFORMED