KOTA KINABALU: Malaysian militant from Sabah, Mohd Amin Baco, is believed to be among the 42 dead after the last stand between the remaining terrorists and troops in the besieged southern Philippine city of Marawi on Monday, FMT has learned.
A source in Marawi said besides Amin, other Malaysians and foreigners might have also been killed during the offensive on the militants’ last hideout, a two-storey building in the main battle area in the city.
The Philippine military today said they had yet to determine whether Malaysia’s most wanted terrorist, Mahmud Ahmad, was among the 42 bodies recovered.
Malaysian police and the defence ministry earlier said they were still waiting for official reports from the Philippines on the Malaysian militants’ reported deaths.
Yesterday, the Philippine military said some 30 remaining terrorists were holed up in the building surrounded by troops.
It is not clear whether all the 42 bodies were of terrorists killed today or if some of them included those killed earlier.
Philippine armed forces chief Gen Eduardo Ano today said among those retrieved were the remains of foreign terrorists who survived the Oct 16 assault that killed siege leaders Isnilon Hapilon and Omar Maute.
Philippine defence secretary Delfin Lorenzana today announced that there were no more militants in the city.
He said two wives of militants were among the 42 bodies retrieved after the final assault.
Lorenzana said all the bodies were that of militants because all hostages had been rescued a few days earlier.
On Friday, FMT learned from a former hostage in Marawi city that a teen, aged about 13, was fighting troops alongside his Malaysian militant father.
College teacher Lordvin Acopio, whose harrowing four-month hostage experience was widely reported by the Philippine media, told FMT the teen had carried a gun and was often at the frontline with his father.
FMT today asked Lorenzana on Twitter about the whereabouts of the Malaysian boy or if the Malaysian teen was among the 42 bodies retrieved from the last militant hideout today.
As of press time, Lorenzana has not responded.
FMT on Saturday reported its findings on the Malaysian teen to Malaysian Inspector-General of Police Mohamad Fuzi Harun, who said the police would investigate the matter.
Yesterday, Ranao Task Force deputy commander Col Romeo Brawner Jr was reported as saying the military had urged the surrounded militants to surrender any female fighters and “child warriors”.