MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Two Philippine security officials say a key Abu Sayyaf commander killed in a U.S.-backed airstrike was planning terror attacks when he was slain.
Abu Sayyaf commander Umbra Jumdail was killed Thursday in a jungle hideout on southern Jolo island. The officials say his death is a major blow to his al-Qaida-linked group because he harbored Southeast Asian terrorist figures, who provide funds and bomb-making training.
Military spokesman Col. Arnulfo Marcelo Burgos repeated Sunday that top Southeast Asian terror suspect Zulkifli bin Hir from Malaysia and Singaporean militant Abdullah Ali were killed along with Jumdail and 12 other gunmen.
The two security officials, however, say the two are still alive and not in the area that was bombed.