A statement shared on social media has fuelled rumours that Islamic State (Isis) leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has died of wounds sustained in US air strikes. The short communication appears similar to past statements made by IS when taking responsibility for terror attacks.

It states that Baghdadi, the caliph of IS, was killed on the fifth day of Ramadan, apparently from wounds sustained in US air strikes on Sunday (12 June 2016).

However, counterterrorism experts have cast doubt on the validity of the IS communication. "This IS statement on Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi's death is one of the shoddiest fakes I have ever seen," Charlie Winter, a senior research associate at Georgia State University, wrote on Twitter.

IBTimes UK was unable to independently verify the statement and no similar statements have been made online, on forums used by Jihadi supporters or published in a newer format favoured by the IS-affiliated Aamaq news agency.

Throughout the day (14 June), Aamaq has published IS propaganda about double-murders in Paris and ongoing battles in Iraq and Syria. There has been no word on Baghdadi.

On 9 June, Iraq's Nineveh province news channel, Al Sumariya TV, claimed that Baghdadi and other IS (Daesh) leaders had been hit in airstrikes and the elusive Daesh head had been injured. The strike was reportedly carried out on one of the IS command headquarters close to the Syrian border.

At the time, US officials in the coalition against IS were unable to confirm the reports.

Social Media Statement
Copy of the statement shared on social media claiming Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi died on the fifth day of Ramadan Screenshot