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Islamic State says leader’s son died in Syria

BEIRUT (AFP) – Hudhayfah al-Badri, son of Islamic State group leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, was killed during an attack by the jihadists in the central Syrian province of Homs, the IS propaganda agency Amaq announced Tuesday.

Al-Badri was killed in an “operation against the Nussayriyyah and the Russians at the thermal power station in Homs,” the group said in a statement alongside a photo of a young man holding an assault rifle.

Nussayriyyah is the term used by IS for the Alawite religious minority sect of President Bashar al-Assad.

IS declared a cross-border “caliphate” in Syria and Iraq in 2014, seizing a third of Iraq during a sweeping offensive.

The jihadists have since lost much ground to separate counter-offensives by Syrian and Iraqi forces as well as US-led operations, and the jihadist presence is now confined to a few holdouts.

The Islamic State group is estimated to control no more than three percent of Syria s territory.

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