Iraqi state television has claimed that the second-in-command of the Islamic State (IS) extremist group has been killed in an air strike near the Syrian border.
The April 1 television report cited Iraqi military intelligence in claiming that Ayad al-Jumali, who is believed to be the deputy to IS head Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, was killed along with other IS commanders by an Iraqi Air Force air strike in the Al-Qaim area along the Syrian border.
The report decribes Jumali as IS's "second in command" and "war minister."
The report did not give the date of the air strike.
Iraqi forces, backed by a U.S.-led international coalition, have been fighting to retake Mosul, the IS stronghold in Iraq where Baghdadi proclaimed an Islamic caliphate in 2014.
Baghdadi is believed to have fled Mosul and taken refuge somewhere in the desert in the border region.
The U.S.-led coalition could not be reached for comment.
Speaking in Washington on March 22, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said it is "only a matter of time" before Baghdadi himself is killed.