Ex-member of rock band Ukays killed in Syria air strike

Akel Zainal, his wife and their two young children were killed in an air strike in Baghouz, Syria, say police. (Facebook pic)

KUALA LUMPUR: A former band member of local rock band Ukays who joined the IS militant group in Syria was killed in an air strike in Syria in March this year.

Bukit Aman’s anti-terrorism chief Ayob Khan Mydin Pitchay said based on information obtained from his foreign counterparts and Malaysian sources in Syria, Wan Mohd Aquil Wan Zainal Abidin or Akel Zainal, his wife and their two children aged two and three were killed in a Russian air strike.

“We received information that Akel’s house in Baghouz was hit by an air strike in March,” he said when contacted here today.

He said another militant from Belgium was also killed in the incident.

Akel had been fighting for IS in Syria since Jan 3, 2014.

He was believed to be the most senior Malaysian militant who was identified by Malaysian authorities as the person responsible for various plans to attack several targets in Malaysia.

Meanwhile, Ayob said another Malaysian militant, Mohd Rafi Udin, also known as Abu Awn Al-Malizi, who was a former senior follower of Kumpulan Mujahidin Malaysia (KMM), was also killed in a Russian air strike in January.

Rafi joined the Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) before heading to Syria to join IS and was featured in a video in 2016 calling for attacks against secular governments and their leaders, he added.