MANILA, Oct 20 (Mabuhay) — President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday confirmed that the alleged financier of the Marawi City siege, Malaysian national Dr. Mahmud Ahmad, had been killed.
“Sabi nila si Doc—iyong tatlo. Tatlo iyan Hapilon, Omar, at iyong Doc. I think he’s an Arab. He was taken this afternoon. And that completes the story,” he said at the 43rd PHL Business Conference and Expo.
Sought for confirmation if Duterte was referring to Mahmud, Armed Forces of the Philippines spokesman Major General Restituto Padilla said, “Yes.”
“Hostages rescued know who he is and reported he was killed last night,” Padilla said.
The military believed Mahmud was one of the funders of the siege that lasted several months in Marawi.
“He is a foreign fighter, at ayun nga po, siya ang isa sa mga nag-fund, nag-provide ng funds for this siege,” said Colonel Romeo Barwner, Joint Task Force Marawi deputy commander.
Mahmud’s death is seen as a huge great blow to ISIS-inspired bandits in southeast Asia.
Abu Sayyaf leader Isnilon Hapilon and Omar Maute were eliminated during rescue operations conducted by soldiers of the 1st Cavalry Squadron of the Philippine Army’s Mechanized infantry Division early Monday morning.
Hapilon was said to be the overall Emir of ISIS in Southeast Asia.
Duterte earlier this week declared Marawi City “free” from further terrorist threats brought by the Maute group, who waged the start of the armed conflict with government forces in May 23.
As of the report, the AFP estimated they only had a hectare of land to cover before fully ridding the city of remaining ISIS millitants, counting at least 15 up to 20 buildings. (MNS)