World

Malaysia militant Mahmud, pregnant wife believed killed in Marawi

PETALING JAYA: The bodies of Malaysian militant Mahmud Ahmad and his pregnant wife are believed to be among the 50 found under a collapsed building in Marawi city in southern Philippines.

CNN Philippines obtained a video from a "highly-placed military source" that purportedly shows the remains of the former University of Malaya lecturer.

The body, which is among the ruins of a building bombed out by government troops via a targeted air strike in war-torn Marawi, is clad in light khaki pants, a black undershirt and a military fatigue jacket.

The body of Mahmud's wife cannot be seen in the video, which runs for about a minute.

The source said the body was identified to be that of Mahmud by four hostages and the wounded aide of militant leader Omar Maute, who was also killed in clashes with Philippine troops.

The video was reportedly shown to the Philippines' Joint Task Force Marawi commander, Major General Danilo Pamonag, who confirmed that one of the bodies seen is believed to be Mahmud.

The Philippine troops also retrieved a handwritten letter, dated Aug 13 and believed to be penned by Mahmud to his wife. It expressed his love and concern for "Humaira" and their child, whom he referred to as "our baby in your tummy".

It also showed his worries and wishes, with Mahmud stating he tries "not to cry too much" when faced with the losses of "syuhada (martyrs)". He signed off with "Babycry" and "Doc" and drawings of a heart and a grinning face.

Mahmud, who was wanted by Malaysia's anti-terrorism authorities for over two years for his links to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), was reportedly poised to become the new leader of the ISIS faction in Marawi.- THE STAR

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