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IS leader may be in eastern Syrian city of Boukamal

IS leader may be in eastern Syrian city of Boukamal

Syrian opposition activists say Islamic State (IS) militants have regained control of the Syrian town of Boukamal after fierce fighting with Syrian government troops.

There was no immediate comment from the Syrian government.

The recapture of the Rawa pocket would mark the final battleground defeat of Daesh in Iraq and sound the death knell of the sprawling "caliphate" the group declared in 2014 over a swathe of Iraq and Syria the size of Britain.

Al-Baghdadi's whereabouts and the question of whether he is dead or alive have been a continuing source of mystery and confusion.

The media outlet announced in a statement on Friday that al-Baghdadi might be hiding in the city of al-Boukamal, which lies on the Euphrates River and the border with Iraq.

Media reports coming out of Syria on Saturday said that the terror group has managed to retake some parts of al-Bukamal, two days after the Syrian army announced its full liberation.

Russian-backed Syrian regime forces and allied fighters had steadily advanced on Albu Kamal from the south and west for weeks, while Iraqi forces had closed in on the border area from the east. It was his first purported audio in almost a year.

Russian officials said in June there was a "high probability" that al-Baghdadi was killed in a Russian airstrike on the outskirts of the Syrian city of Raqqa, the group's de facto capital that the extremists lost last month.

USA officials later said they believed he was still alive.