18 October 2017
President Rodrigo R. Duterte on Tuesday, Oct. 17, symbolically declared a southern city “liberated from terrorists’ influence” but the military said the five-month battle against militants loyal to the Islamic State (IS) group was not yet over.
Government troops were hunting down on Tuesday a Malaysian militant tipped to take over IS in the region following Mr Hapilon’s death.
Mahmud Ahmad is the top remaining target for Philippine forces as the military said he was among six to eight foreign fighters in a battle zone comprising about 60 to 80 buildings.
Terrorism expert Kumar Ramakrishna from Singapore’s S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies said if Mahmud Ahmad survived he would likely take over the leadership of IS-linked fighters in the southern Philippines.
NSSP / Online
Last updated on 19/10/2017