A Russian news agency’s report that British terrorist Samantha Lethwaite, popularly known as the White Widow was dead, has been dismissed as false.
Russian news agency Regnum published an unconfirmed report on Wednesday suggesting Lewthwaite was shot two weeks ago while fighting against pro-Russian rebels for the Ukrainian volunteer battalion Aidar.
It said Lewthwaite had arrived as a volunteer sniper and was killed near the eastern town of Debaltsevo. News of her ‘death’ was then widely reported in British media.
“One of the world’s most wanted terrorists Samantha Lewthwaite who fought as part of a Ukrainian battalion has been killed by a volunteer sniper,” the Mirror quoted the news report as saying.
“According to our information, the White Widow fought on the side of the Ukrainian volunteer battalion Aidar as a sniper.”
The report also claimed a $1million bounty has now been placed on the head of the Russian sniper who allegedly shot her dead.
Aidar commander Sergiy Melnychuk told BuzzFeed News the reports were false. He said: “We don’t have any white widows, and nor could we. They’re [the Russians} trying to drive a wedge between us and our British allies.”
Roman Vybranovsky, a spokesman for Ukraine’s national security council, added her presence in Ukraine was extremely unlikely, telling Buzz Feed: “There’s more chance of confirming that bin Laden was fighting there.”