M'sian militant may have been killed in Marawi

This article is more than 12 months old

MARAWI: The Philippine military said yesterday there was a "big possibility" that a top Malaysian militant tipped to become the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria's point man in South-east Asia has been killed in an overnight battle.

Thirteen rebels among the few dozen ISIS loyalists in the decimated heart of Marawi city were killed in the operation and Malaysian Mahmud Ahmad was likely among them, taskforce deputy commander Colonel Romeo Brawner said.

"We will only be definite once we have a match of DNA samples, maybe of the dental records," Col Brawner told reporters.

If confirmed, Mahmud's death will be a significant blow to ISIS. One of Malaysia's most wanted men, he is believed to have been pivotal in funding the siege of Marawi, which lasted almost five months and killed more than 1,000 people, mostly rebels.

Mahmud studied in Pakistan before going to Afghanistan where he learnt to make bombs. - REUTERS