Military still validating reported death of Maute's Malaysian financier- Palace

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 24 2017 03:44 PM

MANILA - Government troops are searching for the remains of a Malaysian national who allegedly financed the terrorist Maute group, which continue to repel state forces a month since launching attacks in Marawi City. 

In a statement, presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella said "the military is validating the intelligence report" that Mahmud bin Ahmad "died from wounds he sustained during the early days of the Marawi rebellion. 

"We have been told that the military has information of the spot where he was buried and government troops are now trying to locate it and recover the remains," Abella said. 

"Once done, only then can we make an official confirmation," he said.

Ahmad was among foreigners spotted fighting alongside local armed men who waved Islamic State's black flags as they tried to occupy Marawi City last month.

An undated intelligence report obtained by Kyodo News said among the suspected foreign terrorists were Indonesians, Pakistanis, Malaysians, Arabs, Bangladeshis, and Singaporeans.

The military earlier said 10 foreign fighters have been killed in Marawi, where ISIS-linked terror groups launched attacks on May 23. 

Abella said the government was still "verifying" reports that foreign fighters entered southern parts of the country via Indonesia or Malaysia.

Earlier this week, the Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia agreed to enhance cooperation to boost anti-terror efforts. The three countries also launched trilateral border patrols to prevent the movement of Islamic jihadists, some of whom were known to have entered the Philippines' backdoor.