The Latest: Germany remembers many victims of IS atrocities

2 weeks ago
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The Latest on developments following President Donald Trump’s announcement that U.S. forces in Syria killed the Islamic State group’s leader (all times local):

2:05 p.m.

The German government says its thoughts are with the many victims of Islamic State atrocities following the reported death of the group’s leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, in a U.S. special forces raid.

Government spokesman Steffen Seibert cited the “murdered and enslaved Yazidis,” local people in areas where IS had taken control as well as foreign hostages, and those who were killed in IS attacks in Europe and elsewhere.

He told reporters on Monday that al-Baghdadi “can’t issue such murderous orders anymore now,” but added that “this doesn’t mean that the fight against IS is over.”

Seibert says he had no information on whether Germany was involved in the U.S.-led operation, and declined to comment on President Donald Trump’s claim that Germany and other European countries have been unwilling to take back their nationals who joined IS.

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2 p.m.

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman says Kremlin will regard the death of Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi as a welcome development if it is confirmed that he was killed in a U.S. special operation in Syria.

Dmitry Peskov’s comments on Monday echoed a Defense Ministry statement a day earlier that expressed doubts about the veracity of President Donald Trump’s claim.

Peskov says that iIf the reality of this information about the liquidation of al-Baghdadi is confirmed, then in general we talk about a serious contribution by the president of the United States in the fight against international terrorism.”

Peskov declined to say whether Russia had been informed of the raid ahead of time.

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1:50 p.m.

French former President Francois Hollande has praised the death of Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi as “a page that is being turned.”

Hollande, who was in office when the deadly Nov. 13, 2015, attacks in and around Paris occurred, said he has thoughts for “the families of the victims … because these families now know that the chief of the Islamist terrorism organization who had planned, organized, prepared these attacks is dead today.”

The IS group claimed responsibility for the Paris attacks.

Al-Baghdadi was responsible for directing and inspiring terror attacks across continents and in the heart of Europe.

Hollande warned that “it is not a fatal blow” against the IS group because it “still has fighters.”

The Nov. 13, 2015, attacks on Paris cafes, the national stadium and the Bataclan concert hall left 130 people dead.

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1:45 p.m.

China is responding to the reported killing of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of the Islamic State group, by calling for more international cooperation to “eliminate the breeding ground of terrorism.”

Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang on Monday told reporters that as a “victim of terrorism,” China “actively participated in the international anti-terrorism campaign.”

Geng urged the international community to “further strengthen cooperation to jointly fight terrorism” and added that China believes “we should address both the manifestation and the root cause when fighting terrorism and strive to eliminate the breeding ground of terrorism.”

China has clamped down hard on Uighurs and other minority Muslim groups in its northwest following a series of attacks blamed on terrorists that killed hundreds earlier in the decade.

An unknown number of Chinese Muslims are believed to have smuggled themselves to Syria and Iraq to fight alongside the so-called Islamic State.

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1:40 p.m.

Japan’s top government spokesman has welcomed the death of Islamic State group, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, as an important first step toward restoring peace and stability in the Middle East.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga on Monday also praised the result “as part of international measures against extremism.”

President Donald Trump announced that al-Baghdadi, the shadowy leader of the Islamic State group and arguably the world’s most wanted man, died during a raid by the U.S. special forces in Syria.

Suga, however, said the fight against extremism is not over and that further international effort is needed to prevent the resurgence of the extremism. He said Japan hopes to contribute in the U.N.-led peace process and humanitarian support for the Syrian people.

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1:35 p.m.

The commander of Syria’s Kurdish forces says his group’s intelligence unit carried out a joint operation with U.S. troops in northern Syria hours, after the killing of Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, targeting his right-hand man and IS spokesman.

The commander, Mazloum Abdi, says that Abu Hassan al-Muhajir was killed late on Sunday near Jarablus, a town in northwestern Syria.

U.S. officials had no immediate comments.

Al-Muhajir’s death would be another blow to the extremists.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights also reported al-Muhajir’s death, saying he was travelling in a convoy made up of an oil tanker and a sedan.

The report came hours after President Donald Trump announced al-Baghdadi was killed in a U.S. special forces operation in Syria’s northwestern Idlib province.

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ABC News: International

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