Australia is seeking to confirm ISIL’s claim that an Australian teenage recruit died after blowing himself up in Iraq, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said on Thursday.
ISIL released an image on Wednesday claiming to show Abu Abdullah al-Australi before he carried out a suicide attack on the Iraqi city of Ramadi. Australian media recently named Abu Abdullah al-Australi as a pseudonym of 18-year-old Australian Jake Bilardi.
Images of what appeared to be an explosion were also published by ISIL terrorist group.
“I can confirm that the Australian government is currently seeking to independently verify reports that 18-year-old Melbourne teenager Jake Bilardi has been killed in a suicide bombing attack in the Middle East,” Bishop told reporters in Perth.
Iraqi officials said 13 vehicles attacked army positions in Ramadi, the capital of Anbar province. No details on casualties were given.
The Australian Broadcasting Corporation reported on Thursday that Bilardi had left improvised explosive devices at his house before going to Syria. Bishop declined comment on the report.
Bishop said Australian security forces believe 90 citizens are fighting alongside ISIL, and 20 Australians are understood to have died.