Zulkifli bin Hir, alias Marwan. File Photo
MANILA - Philippine National Police (PNP) officer-in-charge Leonardo Espina declared a “mission accomplished” as the United States’ Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) confirmed that international terrorist Zulkifli Bin Hir alias Marwan is dead.
On behalf of the 44 Special Action Force (SAF) troopers who died in the aftermath of the operation, Espina said: “As OIC of the PNP, I declare that Marwan is dead. Mission Accomplished.”
He said this confirmation adds to the honor of the SAF men.
“Based on this new evidence provided by modern science, there is no doubt that the PNP-SAF indeed got their man, as they always do. This fact should add to the glory and honor of the 44 brave young men who offered the supreme sacrifice to get the job done,” he said.
The FBI confirmed on Friday the death of the Jemaah Islamiyah-linked Marwan, one of the US’ most wanted.
“These conclusive findings effectively dismissed any and all doubts about the death of one of Asia's most wanted and dangerous terrorists,” Espina said.
The Mamasapano operation targeted to neutralize Marwan and another bomb maker, Basit Usman, but ended in the death of 44 SAF troopers, 18 members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and several civilians.
The SAF men were already retreating when armed groups, including the MILF, engaged them in a firefight. Later investigations showed the lack of coordination between the government and the group with whom it is negotiating a peace agreement.