Thursday, 18 January, 2018

Philippines: Malaysian financier believed killed in siege

Duterte talks after visiting wounded soldiers who fight against the insurgents of the Maute group at a military camp in Cagayan De Oro Philippines: Malaysian financier believed killed in siege
Erik Tate | 25 June, 2017, 02:13

Mahmud is suspected of channelling more than 30 million pesos (S$829,000) from ISIS to acquire firearms, food and other supplies for the Marawi assault, Gen Ano said, citing intelligence shared by foreign counterparts.

Troops are seeking the help of villagers to pinpoint the exact spot where Mahmud was reportedly buried, Ano said. However, they confirmed that Mahmud had been raising funds for the terror group.

Mahmud reportedly received training in Afghanistan and appeared in a video that showed militant leaders planning the siege in Marawi, which is thought to be a sign that he playing a significant role in the unrest.

The intense fighting in Marawi has alarmed South-east Asian governments, which fear the militants could fan out across the region. Troops since then have killed about 280 gunmen, recovered almost 300 assault firearms and regained control of 85 buildings.

At least 69 soldiers and police and 26 civilians have died in the fighting.

"They are constricted in a very small area. Be that as it may, if there are any complaints, our armed forces are open to receiving these complaints and acting on them immediately", said the presidential spokesperson. He said that three boatloads of gunmen who tried to join the militants were blasted by navy gunboats three days ago in Lake Lanao, which borders Marawi.

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Amid the claims by leftist rights groups about allegations of abuses by government troops to civilians, Gapay said the Commission on Human Rights has recorded no human rights violations in the region.

Various groups have appealed to both Government and the Maute Group for a ceasefire on Eid'l Fitr, to allow Muslims in the country's lone Islamic City, to pray in peace on this holy event, allow residents still trapped here for a month now to walk to freedom, and possibly allow the retrieval of the dead for proper burial. The U.S. military has earlier deployed a spy plane and drones over Marawi.

Troops are looking for their remains.

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.

President Rodrigo Duterte declared martial law in Marawi and the entire southern island of Mindanao, unleashing an offensive to crush what he said was an attempt by the terror group to establish a province in the area. "It's much broader problem that needs a strategic solution".

Philippine security forces are in the process of verifying information that alleges 89 foreign militants, including three Bangladeshis, were on the island of Mindanao in the country, the Philippine Star reported on Saturday. They agreed on a plan of action to combat terrorism and rising extremism and deal with the prospects of Asian fighters returning to their region from Syria and Iraq, where the IS group has been losing territory.

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