Iraq ISIS
Leader of the militant Islamic State Abu Bakr al-BaghdadiReuters

The Islamic State (Isis) has released an audio message purportedly from its self-styled Caliph Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, calling for jihadists to carry out attacks against Muslim Shi'ite and Westerners.

The release comes days after Iraqi officials claimed the Sunni extremist leader was wounded by a US air strike and his right hand man, Auf Abdulrahman Elefery, killed.

It is not clear if the message was recorded prior or after the bombing. In it, al-Baghdadi refers to a White House decision to deploy 1,500 more troops to Iraq, which was announced on Friday, last week. News of his injury was reported on Saturday.

In the recording, al-Baghdadi attempts to close the jihadi ranks, saying that his fighters "will never leave fighting, even if only one soldier remains".

He singles out Europe, America, Australia and Canada as enemies of the caliphate, claiming the West has launched a "slanderous" media campaign against the Islamic State "to reduce its supporters and followers."

"Do not believe at their lying media and their claims of killing tens of mujahedeen each day," he says, according to an English translation circulated on social media.

IS has portrayed through social media many atrocities, including mass public executions, crucifixions, beheadings and the enslaving of hundreds of Yazidi women.

The group has advertised most of its own cruelties by posting videos and accounts online.

In the recording, al-Baghdadi renews propagandist threats against the Vatican saying "the march of the mujahedeen will continue until they reach Rome".

He also announces "the expansion of the Islamic State to new lands" - including Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Egypt, Libya and Algeria - where he says local Islamist groups have pledged their alliance to the Caliphate.

In one of the most crucial passages of the recording, al-Baghdadi says that jihadist fighters should first deal with Shi'ite Muslims in the Middle East, to then move on to bringing war to the West.

"Draw your sword. Deal with the Rafidha [Shi'ite] wherever you find them first," he says.

He then repeats calls for lone wolf attacks against westerners, urging extremists to carry out killings and abductions.

"Dismember their limbs; snatch them as groups and individuals," he says. "Erupt volcanoes of jihad everywhere".

The audio could not be immediately independently verified but appears authentic. Al-Baghdadi's voice seems to correspond with previous recordings released by the group.

Believed to be in his early forties, al-Baghdadi has a $10m (£6.4m) US bounty on his head.