Russia said on Wednesday it had critically injured a leader of the Tahrir al-Sham militant group in Syria with an air strike on his position that also killed 12 of his field commanders.

Russia had targeted Abu Mohamad al-Golani in an intelligence-led special operation while he was meeting his field commanders, the Defence Ministry said in a statement.

A statement by the militant group on its telegram channel denied the claim and said Golani was in “good health and exercising the duties assigned to him completely.”

“May God help him succeed in his task,” the short statement said.

Golani and his men were bombed by two Russian planes on Oct. 3, according to a statement by Defence Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov. The militant leader, who was the head of the Nusra Front before it merged with other groups to form Tahrir al-Sham, was badly hurt, the statement said.

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