• Military confirms death of ISIS-linked fighter

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    A military official has confirmed that Malaysian radical jihadist Mohd Najib Husen was among those who were killed in the ongoing military operation against the extremist Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) in Basilan province.

    Maj. Filemon Tan Jr., spokesman of Western Mindanao Command, said Husen, alias Abu Anas who has ties with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) is among those killed in the ongoing operations in Basilan along with other ASG bandits.

    The military, however, said they are trying to recover the corpse of Husen to verify his death while the operations continue where 26 ASG fighters were reported killed and several others wounded.

    The clashes, which started December 15, also claimed three deaths from the government forces.

    The military has also captured a major ASG camp in Al Barka town of Basilan during the pursuit operation against the group who were on the loose including other foreigners associated with the extremists.

    Husen was with other Malaysians—Mahmud Ahmad, Muhammad Joraimee Awang Raimee, Amin Baco and Jeknal Adil—all wanted by Malaysian government since their escape last year.

    Meanwhile, the Regional Peace and Order Council (RPOC) in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) has restored the peace and order situation in Al Barka town in Basilan where residents were displaced as a result of hostilities between the military soldiers and the ASG.

    Hundreds of Yakan families have started returning to their homes over the weekend from the evacuation centers after the RPOC chairman ARMM Regional Governor Mujiv Hataman, backed up by the military and the police restored normalcy in the once chaotic town.

    Hataman thanked the mayors in Basilan and the ceasefire committee of the MILF for helping restore normalcy in Albarka following last week’s series of encounters there.

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