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Esscom: Militant Abdullah Maute’s death in Marawi unconfirmed

 | September 6, 2017

Wanted by Malaysian security, Abdullah Maute, who had led attacks on Philippine city, was reported to have been killed in an airstrike last month.

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KOTA KINABALU: The death of Abdullah Maute, leader of a Islamic State-affiliated terrorist group in Marawi city in the Philippines, has not been confirmed.

Abdullah is on the Eastern Sabah Security Command’s (EssCom) list of wanted people.

He is believed to pose a security risk to Sabah as he could have fled to the state’s east coast to escape the Philippine army’s heavy offensive to retake the city.

Western Mindanao command chief Lt Gen Carlito Galvez was recently reported as saying that chatter over the Telegram app indicated Abdullah had been killed.

The Philippine army believes Abdullah, whose group is responsible for the attack in Marawi city in Mindanao, had been killed in an airstrike last month.

“We haven’t received any confirmation of his death,” EssCom chief Hazani Ghazali told FMT.

Abdullah, and his brother Omar, are said to be the leaders of the Maute group that started their attacks on the city in May.

The group reportedly pledged allegiance to the IS, which had called on would-be fighters to create a caliphate in their countries of domicile instead of coming to Syria and Iraq to join the terror group.

The fighting has entered its fourth month, with hundreds of militants and numerous government soldiers reported to be killed.

About 500,000 residents were said to have fled the city to avoid the fighting.

The latest twist to the clashes saw women and children, believed to be the militants’ family members, also fighting government troops.

Yesterday, FMT reported that EssCom will remain vigilant against the possible entry of militant women and children into Sabah.

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