The government is verifying reports that suspected Filipino bomber Basit Usman had been wounded in an encounter with Marines in Lanao area, Malacañang said on Saturday.
In a radio interview, Palace deputy spokesman Abigail Valte said that they received reports of Usman being wounded but added that the Department of National Defense is still verifying the report.
“We have received report saying that he was wounded during an encounter, but we are still in the process of confirming this,” Valte told government-run dzRB radio.
Usman is one of the targets in the covert anti-terror operation in Mamasapano, Maguindanao.
Usman is allegedly the Filipino counterpart of most wanted terrorist Zulkifli bin Hir, a known Malaysian bomb expert, who was killed in the January 25 operation.
Usman was reportedly wounded during the Mamasapano encounter and has been moving around in Maguindanao.
The January 25 clash killed 44 Special Action Force troopers and 18 Moro Islamic Liberation Front fighters.