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U.S. forces rehearsed the helicopter raid over and over, hoping to capture the leader of the Islamic State group on the third floor of a residential building in a Syrian town on the Turkish border, where he was holed up with his family.

But before they could reach him, Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurayshi detonated a suicide bomb, triggering a large explosion that blew mangled bodies — including his own — out of the building into the streets outside.

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