Canberra was Sunday attempting to verify whether an Australian ISIL group terrorist, notorious for being photographed with severed heads, had survived a drone attack after a report said he was still alive
Canberra was Sunday attempting to verify whether an Australian ISIL group terrorist, notorious for being photographed with severed heads, had survived a drone attack after a report said he was still alive.
Australian media last week reported that two of the country's most wanted ISIL terrorists, Khaled Sharrouf and Mohamed Elomar, were believed killed in a drone strike in Syria.
But highly classified photographs of the Predator strike have only confirmed the death of Elomar, with no indications that Sharrouf also perished, The Sunday Telegraph reported.
"He's got nine lives," an unnamed source told the newspaper. "It was a split-second thing."
Prime Minister Tony Abbott has previously said his government had a "high degree of confidence" that Elomar had been killed in a coalition air strike but could not say the same for Sharrouf.
The Telegraph said the classified photos showed Elomar standing next to a vehicle which was part of a convoy of ISIL militants in Syria.
Another image taken moments later showed an explosion as the convoy was hit by a missile, with a third image showing the debris left by the strike.
"Our security and intelligence agencies are working to verify reports that Khaled Sharrouf survived a coalition air strike which is believed to have killed Mohamed Elomar," Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop said Sunday.
Sharrouf gained global infamy last year when he posted pictures on his Twitter account showing himself and his then seven-year-old, Sydney-raised son holding up the severed heads of slain Syrian soldiers.