SEREMBAN: Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi today confirmed that another Malaysian was killed in clashes between militants and Philippine security forces in Marawi, Mindanao.
This brings to three the total number of Malaysians killed in the conflict in the besieged city.
Zahid, who is also home minister, said the identity of the latest Malaysian to be killed in Marawi was still being ascertained.
“I can confirm the statement made by the Armed Forces chief of the Philippines (on the death of this Malaysian). We will get the details in due course,” he told reporters after attending the Negeri Sembilan-level “Assimilation of Noble Values” programme for home ministry staff here today.
Present were Negeri Sembilan Menteri Besar Mohamad Hasan and Inspector-General of Police Khalid Abu Bakar.
The Philippine authorities earlier confirmed the identities of the Malaysians killed in Marawi before this as Kamsa Yahya from Kedah and Abdurahman Asmawi from Kelantan.
They were killed in clashes with the Philippine security forces in Marawi last week.
Commenting further, Zahid said the terrorists had assimilated with the 200,000 residents of Marawi, and used the town as a base to form a government called The Caliph Islamic Government.
Marawi has been ringed by Philippine security forces with the majority of its residents having fled to nearby towns. The Phlippine security forces are currently flushing out remnants of the militants, who are believed to be holding civilians as hostages.
“We reject any effort to create another Islamic government in a form which is un-Islamic, which should also be rejected by the people in the Asean region, especially Muslims,” Zahid said.
He added that no less than 400 terrorists from within the country and overseas were in Marawi.
“I want to remind again that if not curbed, terrorism can occur anywhere and at any time.
“That is why I want to remind all the leaders in the country, the states and all regions to be extra careful and vigilant,” he said.
Zahid also expressed concern that efforts to hunt them down in Marawi might cause the terrorists to leave the city and go elsewhere, especially to Sabah or other areas in Malaysia.
“If we are not alert, we may not escape their actions.
“That is why it is not just the Royal Malaysia Police and the anti-terrorism special unit which must be in a state of preparedness. I want to remind all enforcement agencies and even the public to immediately report any suspicious individuals or groups of people to the police so that immediate action can be taken,” he said.