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Georgia

Pentagon Says Top IS Commander Died From Air Strike Injuries

Umar al-Shishani -- the nom de guerre of Tarkhan Batirashvili -- was a former elite Georgian soldier from the Pankisi Gorge.
Umar al-Shishani -- the nom de guerre of Tarkhan Batirashvili -- was a former elite Georgian soldier from the Pankisi Gorge.

Top Islamic State commander (IS) Umar al-Shishani, also known as "Omar the Chechen," died from injuries he received from a U.S. air strike, Pentagon officials confirmed on March 14.

Shishani, an ethnic Chechen who was born in Georgia, was critically injured in an air strike on his convoy in northeastern Syria on March 4 and was transported to a hospital near Raqqa for treatment.

"We believe he subsequently died of his injuries," Navy Captain Jeff Davis, a Pentagon spokesman, told AFP.

Pentagon officials also told CNN on March 14 that Shishani died from his injuries.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights on March 13 told AFP that Shishani had been "clinically dead" for several days, unable to breathe on his own and kept alive by a respirator.

Shishani -- the nom de guerre of Tarkhan Batirashvili -- was a former elite Georgian soldier from the Pankisi Gorge who joined IS in 2012 and was considered one of its ablest commanders.

Shishani was on the U.S. State Department's most-wanted list, with a $5 million reward on his head.

Based on reporting by AFP, CNN, and Reuters

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