Updated: 25/11/16 : 06:52:30
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World :: Australian IS recruiter not dead but under arrest in Middle East

An Australian militant thought to be dead is in fact still alive and under arrest in the Middle East, according to reports.

The Australian government in May said Neil Prakash, a senior recruiter for the Islamic State group, had been killed in a US air strike.

He died in the Iraqi city of Mosul, Attorney-General George Brandis said at the time.

But the New York Times on Friday reported Prakash was still alive, citing senior US sources.

Prakash handed himself to Turkish authorities several weeks ago, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation said.

Responding to the reports, Justice Minister Michael Keenan said the government could not comment on intelligence matters.

"The government reported Prakash's death in May on the basis of advice from the US government that he had been killed in an air strike," he said.

"But as we have said previously, the government's capacity to confirm reports of deaths in either Syria or Iraq is limited. These places are war zones, with many ungoverned spaces."