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Erdogan says Turkey has captured one of Baghdadi's wives

Turkish president announces capture more than a week after the Islamic State leader killed himself during US raid
Baghdadi rose from obscurity to lead the Islamic State group and declare himself 'caliph' of all Muslims (AFP)

Turkey has captured one of the wives of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, more than a week after the former leader of the Islamic State (IS) group killed himself during a raid by US special forces, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has announced.

"The United States said Baghdadi killed himself in a tunnel. They started a communication campaign about this," Erdogan said on Wednesday.

"But I am announcing it here for the first time: we captured his wife and didn't make a fuss like them. 

"Similarly, we also captured his sister and brother-in-law in Syria," he said in a speech at Ankara University.

Turkey says it has captured sister of dead Islamic State leader in Syria
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A senior Turkish official said earlier this week that Turkey had captured Baghdadi's sister, her husband, and daughter-in-law, and hoped to gain intelligence from them about IS; although Ankara has not said what knowledge they may have had about the group's operations.

Baghdadi rose from obscurity to lead IS, holding sway over huge areas of Iraq and Syria from 2014 to 2017 before the group's control was wrested away by a US-led coalition.

World leaders have welcomed his death, but they and security experts warned that the group, which carried out atrocities against religious minorities, remained a security threat in Syria and beyond.

Last month, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said two of Baghdadi's wives had also been killed at the site of last month's raid.

IS said a successor to Baghdadi, identified as Abu Ibrahim al-Hashemi al-Quraishi, had been appointed. 

A senior US official said last week that Washington was looking at the new leader to determine where he came from.