The militant leader was hugely popular within the group and his loss is expected to be a significant blow
Abu Omar al-Shishani, a high ranking Isis commander, has been confirmed as dead by pro-Isis propaganda outlets.
The Chechen-born, hugely popular ‘minister of war’ was killed in fighting close the the beleaguered Iraqi city of Mosul.
His death – purportedly at the hands of the US – was falsely reported in the past but the claim is now being supported by a number of analysts and pro-Isis social media accounts. However, The Independent has not been able to verify the information.
Isis media outlet Amaq announced the news on Wednesday evening, saying al-Shishani was killed in combat in the Iraqi city of Shirqat, south of Mosul.
Shishani, also known as Omar the Chechen, ranked among America’s most wanted militants under a US programme that offered up to $5 million for information to help remove him from the battlefield.
Born in 1986 in Georgia, then still part of the Soviet Union, the red-bearded Shishani had a reputation as a close military adviser to Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who was said by followers to have relied heavily on Shishani.
In March, the Pentagon said Shishani had likely been killed in a U.S. air strike in Syria