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Photo by Al-Furqan Media/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is wounded and being treated at a medical facility in northeastern Syria, a senior Iraqi intelligence official told government-run newspaper al-Sabah on Monday. Al-Baghdadi was injured in an airstrike last May and forced to give up control of the terror group for up to five months while he recovered, according to CNN.

The backdrop: Al-Baghdadi is the elected "caliph" of the Islamic State and one of the most wanted men in the world. Rumors of his death or incapacitation have circulated at least a dozen times since 2015, but Iraq's Ministry of Interior is confirming the latest reports with a high degree of confidence.

"We have irrefutable information and documents from sources within the terrorist organisation that al-Baghdadi is still alive and hiding with the help of his collaborators."
— Abu Ali al-Basri, Iraq's intelligence and counterterrorism department chief

Al-Baghdadi is reportedly being treated for "injuries, diabetes and fractures to the body and legs that prevent him from walking without assistance," as well as a "deteriorating psychological state," al-Basri said.

The U.S. Department of Defense stated that they have seen the reports, but have nothing to confirm at this time.

Go deeper

Updated 6 mins ago - World

Mapping repression in China's Xinjiang region

Data: © Mapbox, © OpenStreetMap; Map: Will Chase/Axios

A sweeping new report released today by an Australian research organization reveals new details about how the Chinese Communist Party — and specifically who within the party — is carrying out its campaign of repression in Xinjiang.

Why it matters: Uncovering the actual offices and individuals implementing the Chinese government's genocide and forced labor policies in Xinjiang can bring accountability and help international companies delink supply chains in compliance with U.S. and EU forced labor laws.

Updated 24 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Celebrities are America's new politicians

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Launching gubernatorial bids, making presidential endorsements, founding schools: Celebrities are getting increasingly involved in U.S. public and political life.

Why it matters: As we've reported, politics is no longer just the purview of career politicians, as companies and their CEOs throw their weight around to affect policies. Now, movie stars, famous musicians and professional athletes also are using their influence in politics.

Updated 25 mins ago - Sports

Baseball's minor leaguers get a major win

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Starting next season, MLB teams will be required to provide housing for minor league players.

Why it matters: "This is a historic victory," Harry Marino, director of the nonprofit Advocates for Minor Leaguers, told ESPN. It's also just the beginning of a fight for improved quality of life.

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