BEIRUT, LEBANON (AFP) – In a statement released Thursday, the Islamic State terrorist organisation reported the death of its leader Abu Ibrahim al-Qurashi and designated Abu Hasan al-Hashemi al-Qurashi as his replacement.

The declaration came more than a month after the IS head was killed in a US assault in northwest Syria that saw commandos parachute in by helicopter to a territory occupied by rival terrorists.

IS members have “sworn allegiance” to “Abu Hasan al-Hashemi al-Qurashi as emir over believers and caliph of Muslims,” according to an audio clip posted on the group’s social media accounts.

The former IS chief’s death, as well as the group’s ex-spokesman, was verified in the tape.

“In recent days, Abu Ibrahim al-Qurashi and the official Islamic State group spokesman… Abu Hamza al-Qurashi… were slain,” stated Abu-Omar al-Muhajjir, the new spokesperson.

Little is known about the incoming head, who will be the organization’s third in command since its founding.

Abu Ibrahim al-Qurashi died when he exploded a device to evade arrest, according to the White House and US defence officials.

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