MARAWI CITY – The military on Monday said its troops have killed the top lieutenant of Malaysia’s most wanted terrorist who was fighting alongside the ISIS-inspired militants in this city.
Armed Forces Western Mindanao Command chief Lt. Gen. Carlito Galvez Jr. said Muhammad Joraimee Awang Raimee, 39, also a Malaysian, was killed along with 15 others in the battle to retake Bato Mosque last month.
“We can confirm he was killed along with the others in the fighting around the mosque,” Galvez said.
He did not present solid proof of Raimee’s death but said the Malaysian government confirmed it in an exchange of intelligence information.
He said Malaysian intelligence agencies knew of Raimee’s death when it was announced in various chat rooms in the social media.
He said statements from the 17 hostages who escaped from their Maute captors last week corroborated this information.
Raimee was the most trusted lieutenant of Malaysia’s most wanted terrorist Dr. Mahmud Ahmad who along with another Malaysian reportedly went to Basilan and Sulu in 2014 to establish an Islamic caliphate.
Ahmad played a key role in planning the attack of Marawi City based on a video footage showing him and other militant leaders being briefed by Abdullah Maute, one of the leaders of the Maute group.
Galvez said they don’t know the whereabouts of Ahmad but they are certain that there are still six foreign terrorists fighting in Marawi.
“We believed there are still six foreign fighters down from 19,” he said.
Galvez added they have checked on reports that 15 Indonesian terrorists have flown in through Laguindingan Airport in Misamis Oriental to join the fighting.
He said that with the help of the Indonesian consulate in Davao City, they have tracked down all the Indonesians and found they were legitimate visitors who joined an international conference for Muslim preachers in Marawi.