Marwan killed in Mamasapano, says MILF

By Non Alquitran, The Philippine Star

Posted at Feb 03 2015 08:48 AM | Updated as of Feb 03 2015 04:51 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Malaysian terrorist Zulkifli bin Hir, alias Marwan, had indeed been killed in a police operation that led to deadly clashes between police commandos and Muslim rebels in Mamasapano, Maguindanao last Jan. 25, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) said yesterday.

“Our intelligence community has confirmed that he is dead,” Mohagher Iqbal, chief negotiator of the MILF, said in an interview at the Senate yesterday.

Iqbal’s claim cannot be immediately verified as Marwan’s corpse went missing after the clash that left scores dead, including 44 members of the Philippine National Police Special Action Force (SAF).

The Federal Bureau of Investigation is matching DNA samples taken from Marwan’s severed right index finger with those of his brother who is detained at the Guantanamo prison.

In a statement, the FBI said it has received DNA samples taken from Marwan and that testing procedures would take time.

SAF commandos who killed Marwan cut off Marwan’s index finger and took photos of his corpse as they were unable to take his body when the rebels were alerted by the shooting.

The other target of the operation, Filipino terrorist Basit Usman, reportedly managed to escape.

Aiding the MILF in the battle were fighters of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF).

Iqbal debunked the claims of Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) spokesman Emmanuel Fontanilla that Marwan, an explosives expert, was still alive.

“That’s an MNLF spokesman under Nur Misuari. He is not in anyway related or connected with MILF. I cannot comment on his remarks,” the MILF leader said.

Fontanilla had challenged the government to get a DNA report from an independent body to prove that the SAF operation had killed Marwan.

Iqbal declined to comment on reports that the United States had provided the Philippines with intelligence information on the whereabouts of the fugitive terrorist.

Meanwhile, Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas II assured SAF troopers last Sunday that the man their comrades had killed in Mamasapano was Marwan.

“The SAF commandos accomplished their mission,” he said.

A police general who declined to be named said the US hopes to finish its testing on Marwan’s DNA sample in two weeks.

Police officials are also denying rumors that a “fabricated” DNA testing result is being readied to mislead the public that Marwan had really died in Mamasapano.