Wanted international terrorist and bomb-making expert Abdul Basit Usman, one of the two high-value targets of the ill-fated Jan. 25 Mamasapano operation is dead, Interaksyon.com reported, citing military intelligence sources.
In a story published today, the news portal reported that Usman and two comrades were killed in an encounter with a Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) group led by a certain Commander Marlboro under the 106th Base Command of the MILF, which in turn is led by Wahid Tundok.
The report said the encounter happened at around 11:30 a.m. in Barangay Mote near Camp Afdal in Guindulungan town in Maguindanao.
“Yes, Usman is dead. It’s confirmed,” the Interaksyon report quoted an unnamed high-ranking intelligence officer.
A SecurityMatters source, however, maintains that Basit Usman is not dead. “The body from the encounter site in possession of the MILF is not Usman’s,” the source said.
Meanwhile, in a GMA News report, AFP spokesperson Brig. Gen. Joselito Kakilala said they received information from their assets that Usman was shot dead in Guindulungan town, but he added that the military is still verifying said report.
Earlier on Saturday, several sources reported that Usman was wounded in a clash with government forces somewhere in Lanao. But no confirmation was issued by the military on said report either.
Usman remains in the US Federal Bureau of Investigation’s most-wanted list with a $1-million bounty on his head.