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Palace: Military trying to locate remains of financier of Marawi siege

25 June 2017

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

Lt. Col. Jo-ar Herrera, spokesman for the AFP's Joint Task Force Marawi, said the military was "validating" reports that Omar was killed while AFP chief Gen. Eduardo Año said Omar was "more or less" dead along with a Malaysian terrorist, Mahmud Ahmad, who reportedly died on June 7 after being wounded in a firefight last month.

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.

"We have been told that the military has information of the spot where he was buried and government troops are now trying to locate it and recover the remains".

However, they confirmed that Mahmud has been raising funds for the terror group.

Mahmud reportedly received training in Afghanistan and appeared in a video that showed militant leaders planning the siege in Marawi, which is thought to be a sign that he playing a significant role in the unrest.

Fighting broke out in the city on May 23 when militants occupied many facilities and houses in the city, prompting the military to launch a counter offensive. Troops since then have killed about 280 gunmen, recovered almost 300 assault firearms and regained control of 85 buildings.

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"Once done, only then can we make an official confirmation", he said. Numerous high rises were used as sniper posts to slow down the advance of government forces, the military said. "Be that as it may, if there are any complaints, our armed forces are open to receiving these complaints and acting on them immediately", said the presidential spokesperson.

Defense Minister Marise Payne said Australia will work with its partners in Southeast Asia to combat terrorism, as it is also a direct threat to her country.

THE military is verifying the reported death of Malaysian terrorist who allegedly financed the siege by the Islamic State-affiliated Maute group in Marawi City, Malacañang said Saturday. The U.S. military earlier deployed a spy plane and drones over Marawi.

FILE - In this May 25, 2017, file photo, smoke billows from the heart of Marawi city as government troops battle with Muslim militants who lay siege in Marawi in southern Philippines.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte declared martial law in Marawi and the entire southern region of Mindanao, unleashing an offensive to crush what he said was an attempt by the jihadist group to establish a province in the area.

"I do think that martial law doesn't solve the problem and I think military strikes, especially airstrikes, don't solve the problem", Jones 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.

Palace: Military trying to locate remains of financier of Marawi siege