Reports from Lebanon say that a wife and child of ISIL leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi have been detained near the border with Syria.
The Lebanese army is said to have picked them up carrying false papers around ten days ago near the frontier town of Arsal.
Thought to be Baghdadi’s second wife, she is apparently being questioned at the Lebanese Defence Ministry. Baghdadi has three wives, two Iraqis and one Syrian, according to tribal sources in Iraq.
There are conflicting reports about the gender of the detained child.
It is a setback to the jihadist group as it comes under increased pressure from a US-led air strike campaign and Kurdish fighters on the ground, notably in the Syrian town of Kobani.
Baghdadi leads a self-declared caliphate in territory seized in Syria and Iraq.
His family could be used by Beirut as a bargaining chip against ISIL which, along with rival Islamists, is holding over 20 Lebanese Army soldiers hostage.
Spillover from the Syrian conflict has repeatedly jolted neighboring Lebanon.
The Lebanese security forces have cracked down on the group’s sympathisers and the intelligence services have been extra vigilant on the borders with Syria.
In recent months, they have arrested dozens of Islamic militants suspected of staging attacks to expand ISIL’s influence in Lebanon.
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