Russia’s defence ministry is investigating whether one of its air strikes in Syria killed the leader of the Islamic State militant group (IS).
The ministry said an air strike may have killed Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and up to 330 other fighters on 28 May.
It said the raid had targeted a meeting of the IS military council in the group’s de-facto capital of Raqqa, in northern Syria.
There have been a number of previous reports of Baghdadi’s death.
This is the first time, however, that Russia has said it may have killed the IS leader. Other media reports have previously claimed he had been killed or critically injured by US-led coalition air strikes.
A statement by Russia’s defence ministry published by the state-funded Sputnik news agency said 30 IS commanders and up to 300 soldiers were at the Raqqa meeting.
“According to information that is checked through various channels, IS leader Ibrahim Abu-Bakr al-Baghdadi, who was killed as a result of the strike, was also present at the meeting,” it added.
Colonel John Dorrian, a spokesman for the US-led coalition, said the US could not confirm whether Baghdadi had been killed.
There has been no official comment from Syria’s government.
Baghdadi’s whereabouts have been unknown for some time, although he was believed to be in Mosul in Iraq before a US-led coalition began an effort to reclaim the city in October 2016.