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30 SAF commandos killed Marwan inside hut in MILF 105th base camp

It took the troops 15 minutes to subdue and kill the Malaysian terrorist
/ 10:52 PM January 29, 2015

COTABATO CITY, Philippines—A group of elite police commandos walked for hours early on Sunday to get to their target’s location. But it took them less than 15 minutes to kill Malaysian terrorist Zulkifli bin Hir, alias “Marwan.”

According to several sources, who asked not to be identified, about 30 commandos from Special Action Force (SAF) of the Philippine National Police arrived at Marwan’s hideout in Mamasapano town, Maguindanao province, at around 4 a.m. Sunday.

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Police Director Getulio Napeñas, the sacked chief of the SAF, confirmed the information, saying in an earlier interview that part of the assault force was able to enter Marwan’s hut and engaged the bomb expert from the Indonesia-based terrorist group Jemaah Islamiyah in a brief gunfight.

READ: #SAF44 memorial page; Marwan finger cut off for DNA

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The gunfire alerted Marwan’s security, forcing the commandos to withdraw but not before getting a part of Marwan’s body for DNA sampling, Napeñas said.

That DNA sample, one Inquirer source said, was Marwan’s finger. Another source said it was not just a finger, but Marwan’s right hand.

Sources said it was difficult for the government to officially announce the death of Marwan because it would complicate the peace process, as the terrorist was killed in a community known to be a territory of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front’s 105th Base Command led by Zacaria Goma.

Goma assumed his post after Ameril Umra Kato, the former 105th Base commander, broke away from the MILF in 2008 and formed his own guerrilla group, the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF), due to disagreement with the front’s handling of peace talks with the government.

READ: What price peace?; Aquino admits lack of coordination in Mamasapano clash

The BIFF also maintains a base in Mamasapano.

Sources said the SAF group that killed Marwan clashed with MILF forces as they were withdrawing from the town. A second, bigger group of SAF commandos, which served as a blocking force, was attacked by BIFF guerrillas.

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Sources said eight commandos from the first SAF group were killed. One of those who survived took a picture of a bloodied, dead Marwan.

MILF Chair Murad Ebrahim confirmed in a radio interview that Marwan had been killed.

Murad said SAF commandos fired at MILF forces as they withdrew from Tukanalipao.

READ: What really happened according to MILF, AFP, etc.SAF Chief: I am responsible 

“They got their target but still they attacked our men. They managed to go to the area of their targets and our forces’ positions were far from them,” Murad said.

Murad said an MILF investigative body would look into the clash to determine what really happened.

Murad, in a press conference Wednesday afternoon, reiterated his group’s commitment to the peace process. He also said the MILF was not aware that Marwan was in the area.

On Tuesday night, President Aquino said Marwan was killed in the SAF operation.

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TAGS: arrest warrant, Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters, Ceasefire, crime suspect, Getulio Napeñas, Jemaah Islamiyah, law enforcement, Manhunt, Marwan, Moro Islamic Liberation Front, News, peace process, Philippine Government, Philippine National Police, policemen killed in action, policemen killed in combat, policemen killed on duty, pursuit operations, Regions, Shooting, Special Action Force, suspected terrorists, terror suspects, warrant of arrest, Zulkifli bin Hir
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