Police ready to perform DNA tests on Mahmud’s body

Ayob-Khan-Mydin-Pitchay-Mahmud-Ahmad-militant-is-malaysiaMELAKA: Malaysian police are ready to take DNA samples if requested by the Philippine government, to confirm the death of Malaysian militant Dr Mahmud Ahmad, believed to have been killed during a battle with the Philippine army in Marawi City, Philippines, on Wednesday.

Bukit Aman’s Special Branch Counter-Terrorism Division assistant director Ayob Khan Mydin Pitchay said the police had already taken the preliminary measure of obtaining DNA samples from family members of the former lecturer.

He said it was difficult to confirm the death of Dr Mahmud without evidence or DNA testing on the militant’s body.

“We need to look at the body to confirm he was killed, and if the body was destroyed, we have to perform DNA tests (to verify his identity),” he told reporters after attending a dialogue session at the Melaka police headquarters today, officiated by former Melaka Chief Minister Mohd Ali Mohd Rustam.

Ayob Khan said the Malaysian government was still awaiting a formal statement on the matter from the Philippine authorities.

“We cannot take a statement that is reported by the international media as an official statement before first verifying the body or conducting a DNA test on the deceased,” he said.

Ayob said police believed the death of Dr Mahmud would somewhat weaken the terrorist movement in the region, and that militants would take some time to find a new leader.

Bernama yesterday reported that the Defence Ministry was still awaiting confirmation from the Malaysian Armed Forces’ (MAF) intelligence unit on the death of Dr Mahmud.

Defence minister Hishammuddin Hussein said although the Philippines’ highest authority had confirmed the militant’s death, the MAF had yet to receive a report on the matter.