ARTICLE AND PHOTO ARE COURTESY OF GMANEWS.TV
(Updated 11:34 p.m.) DERA ISMAIL KHAN, Pakistan – Pakistani officials say a Filipino militant wanted by the United States is believed to have been killed in an American drone strike earlier this month.
Two military intelligence officials said Thursday that Abdul Basit Usman was killed on Jan. 14 close to the Afghan border.
They cited militant informers as the source of the information. They spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of their work.
Filipino officials in the Philippines and Pakistan said they had no information on the attack.
The U.S. State Department's list of most-wanted terrorists identifies Usman as a bomb-making expert with links to the Philippines-based Abu Sayyaf militant group and the Southeast Asian Jemaah Islamiyah network.
The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), which is fighting for an independent Islamic state in southern Philippines, has repeatedly denied that Usman is their member. It even ordered its forces to hunt down the terrorist and bring him to justice.
Usman was captured in Sultan Kudarat province in 2002, but escaped in the same year. He was tagged as behind deadly in the Mindanao cities of General Santos, Kidapawan and Cotabato that killed and wounded dozens of innocent civilians. - AP with Al Jacinto/KBK, GMANews.TV