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PHL confirms killing of 2 foreign terrorists

MANILA, Philippines - Malacanañg said yesterday that the death of the two members of the Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) would be a big blow to the operations of the Asian terrorist group.

“Philippine authorities have successfully neutralized two foreign terrorists,” deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said over radio dzRB.

In November last year, authorities tracked down Indonesian Ibnu Gholib Al-Jitli alias Ustadz Sanusi in Marawi City. He was suspected to be a senior JI member.

Sanusi died in a firefight when security forces tried to arrest him, Valte said.

During the investigation, police recovered electronic devices and large amounts of currency from Sanusi.

Prior to his arrival in the Philippines in 2006, Sanusi was tagged as one of those involved in the 2005 beheading of three schoolgirls in Poso, Sulawesi, Indonesia, according to Valte.

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She said Philippine security forces also killed Noor Fikrie Kahar on Dec. 14 last year. Kahar was a suspected Malaysian JI member.

Kahar attempted to detonate an improvised explosive device in a hotel in Davao City and was killed by the police in an encounter.

His Filipino wife, Anabelle Nieva Lee, remains under police custody and is undergoing judicial process.

“We can show that the government is really serious in fighting these kinds of terrorists and we hope that these two developments will send a message that individuals like them cannot make the Philippines a safe haven for terrorists,” Valte said.