By Associated Press
A Malaysian militant who helped lead and finance the siege in Marawi City is believed to have been killed as the local jihadis aligned with the Islamic State group become increasingly constricted after a month of fighting, Armed Forces of the Philippines chief Gen. Eduardo Año said Friday.
Año told The Associated Press in a telephone interview that 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 and validate the intelligence that was received. A local militant leader, Omarkhayam Maute, also is believed to have been killed in the early days of intense fighting, he said.
Ano, citing intelligence shared by foreign counterparts, said Mahmud was suspected of channeling more than 30 million pesos ($600,000) from the Islamic State group to acquire firearms, food and other supplies for the attack.
A former Malaysian university professor who later turned into a jihadi and received training in Afghanistan, Mahmud appeared in a militant video showing militant leaders planning the Marawi siege in a hideout, a sign of his key role in the uprising. The AP obtained a copy of the video, which was seized by Filipino troops in a militant hideout on May 23.
Malaysian security officials have also received information of Mahmud’s killing in Marawi and were trying to confirm it.