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Baghouz: Prominent French jihadist Jean-Michel Clain was killed last month, his wife said on Tuesday after fleeing the last redoubt of the militant Islamic State group in eastern Syria.

Clain’s wife Dorothee Maquere said he was killed in mortar shelling after being wounded in the coalition drone strike that killed his brother Fabien, who was France’s most wanted jihadist. Fully veiled in black and surrounded by her five children, including a two-week-old baby she was cradling under a red blanket, Maquere said her husband was killed less than two weeks ago.

“The drone killed my brother-in-law and then the mortar killed my husband,” she said at a screening area run by the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces, which is spearheading the battle against the last pocket of IS territory.

Maquere and her children were among the last civilians to leave Baghouz, the farming village on the banks of the Euphrates where diehard IS members are making a bloody last stand.

Fabien Clain, 41, gained notoriety after voicing an audio recording claiming responsibility for the November 2015 attacks in Paris, when IS jihadists slaughtered 129 people in coordinated attacks.

Published in Dawn, March 6th, 2019