Malaysian financier ‘killed in siege’ during Philippine battle for Marawi
A Malaysian militant who helped lead and finance the siege of a southern Philippine city is believed to have been killed as the local jihadis aligned with Islamic State (IS) became increasingly constricted after a month of fighting, the military chief said.
General Eduardo Ano said Malaysian Mahmud bin Ahmad was wounded in the fighting in Marawi last month and reportedly died on June 7 of his wounds.
He said the military has a general idea of where the militant was buried and troops are trying to locate the exact spot with the help of civilians to recover the remains. A local militant leader, Omarkhayam Maute, also is believed to have been killed in the early days of intense fighting.
Ano, citing intelligence shared by foreign counterparts, said Mahmud was suspected of channelling more than US$600,000 from the IS to acquire firearms, food and other supplies.
A former Malaysian university professor who became radicalised and received training in Afghanistan, Mahmud appeared in a video showing militant leaders planning the Marawi siege in a hideout, a sign of his key role in the uprising.
Malaysian security officials have also received information of Mahmud’s killing in Marawi and were trying to confirm it.
Two other leaders, top Filipino militant suspect Isnilon Hapilon and Maute’s brother, Abdullah, were still fighting in Marawi, Ano claimed.