M'sian terrorist Dr Mahmud Ahmad believed killed in Marawi fighting

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Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla said in a text message to reporters that the military has chose to declare a stop of military offensives against the Islamist militants with links to Islamic State (IS) holed up in some parts of the city.

Ano, citing intelligence shared by foreign counterparts, says Mahmud is suspected of channeling more than 30 million pesos ($600,000) from the Islamic State group to acquire firearms, food and other supplies for the attack. Money believed to be from illegal drugs also funded the uprising, he said.

Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief Gen. Eduardo Año told The Associated Press (AP) on Friday that Mahmud was wounded in the fighting in Marawi last month and reportedly died on June 7 of his wounds.

The military earlier said 10 foreign fighters have been killed in Marawi, where ISIS-linked terror groups launched attacks on May 23.

Ano further said that the Filipino troops have clues as to where Mahmud might be buried and that the military is trying to locate the exact spot with the help of civilians to confirm the intelligence they received.

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Malaysia's most wanted terrorist, university lecturer-turned-militant Mahmud Ahmad, is believed to have died of wounds sustained in fighting in the southern Philippines.

Lieutenant-Colonel Jo-Ar Herrera, spokesman of Task Force Marawi, told reporters they had validated information on Maute's death.

A total of 280 terrorists and 69 government troopers have died since clashes in Marawi began last May 23. Troops since then have killed about 280 gunmen, recovered almost 300 assault firearms and regained control of 85 buildings.

Isnilon Hapilon, a veteran Filipino militant said to be the leader of the Islamic State (IS) group in Southeast Asia, has not been seen in the battle zone in Marawi City, said Lt. Gen. Carlito Galvez, head of the military's Western Mindanao Command.

"They are constricted in a very small area". He said three boatloads of gunmen who tried to join the militants were blasted by navy gunboats three days ago in Lake Lanao, which borders Marawi.

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Amid the claims by leftist rights groups about allegations of abuses by government troops to civilians, Gapay said the Commission on Human Rights has recorded no human rights violations in the region.

"We can just bomb them away or use napalm bomb to burn everything, but then, we will not be any different from them if we do that", he said. But if confirmed, his death would be a blow to efforts by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) group to gain a firm foothold in the war-torn Philippine island of Mindanao. The U.S. military earlier deployed a spy plane and drones over Marawi.

The president of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte, declared martial law in Marawi and the entire southern region of Mindanao.

Powerful clans and warlords, along with insurgencies, have effectively weakened law enforcement in large areas in the country's south, making it easier for militants to take over an area and hold it, said Sidney Jones, director of the Institute for Policy Analysis of Conflict in Jakarta, Indonesia. "The President likewise noted that if one is a law-abiding citizen martial law is not a problem", the Palace spokesperson said.

It is possible that the foreigners entered the Philippines through the southern backdoor, where the point of entry is Mindanao via Indonesia or Malaysia, he added.

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