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Palace Confirms Usman’s Death

International terrorist and bomb-making expert Abdul Basit Usman is dead, Malacañang confirmed Sunday evening.

“Terror suspect Basit Usman was killed in a firefight in Guindulungan, Maguindanao at around noon today,” Palace spokesman Herminio Coloma Jr. said in a statement.

But Coloma added that the Palace is still “awaiting the submission of the AFP’s after-operations report which is forthcoming.”

Senior Supt. Nickson Muksan, Maguindanao provincial police chief, said in an earlier report that Usman was killed by members of the MILF 118th Base Command in Barangay Muti in Guindulungan before noon, citing information from Guindulungan Mayor Midpantao Midtimbang and Barangay Muti Barangay Chairman Gayak Midtimbang.

In an report, Muksan said Usman’s body has been retrieved by relatives.

Usman, one of the high-value targets of the Jan. 25 Philippine National Police – Special Action Force operation in Mamasapano, Maguindanao, had a $1-million bounty on his head.

He was an alleged member of the Abu Sayyaf group and had links to terror group Jemaah Islamiyah.