15 Malaysian militants allegedly killed in Syria, says Wisma Putra
In a statement released today, the foreign ministry confirmed that the Permanent Representative of Syria to the United Nations in New York had alleged in a press conference on June 18 that 15 Malaysian nationals who had joined the militant Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil) had been killed in Syria.
Isil, which is also referred to as the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (Isis), is involved in terrorism and jihadist activities in the two countries and is made up mostly of Sunni Muslims.
It was also alleged that apart from Malaysians, nationals from other countries including several Asean countries, are also involved in such activities in Syria.
Recent reports on CNN and the BBC have also listed several British and Americans among those who had joined Isil in Iraq and Syria.
In response to the allegations, Wisma Putra said: "As a peace-loving country that practices moderation, Malaysia abhors and does not condone any acts of terrorism or extremism by any parties, including its own nationals.
"In this regard, the ministry is working closely with the relevant Malaysian authorities on this matter and has also requested the Syrian authorities to verify the allegations."
Isil, a splinter group of al-Qaeda, wants to set up an Islamic caliphate encompassing both Iraq and Syria and has been classified as a terror organisation, by the two countries as well as several other nations in the Middle-east and the West.
This is not the first case of a Malaysian national being involved in militant activities in Syria and Iraq.
Ahmad Tarmimi Maliki, a factory worker from Selangor, was believed to have been the suicide bomber who killed 25 Iraqi policemen last month while police in Malaysia arrested three local men, believed to be members of the group, earlier this month.
Utusan Malaysia had reported last month that Ahmad, 26, had joined the group without his family's knowledge and was given the name Abu Ahmad Al-Malizzi by Isil.
Home Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi had recently warned that Malaysians who join the militants in Syria and Iraq will be dealt with under the law if they return to Malaysia.
He said the ministry was now monitoring the movements of such Malaysians and would take stiff action if they are involved in any militant activities in the Middle East. – June 24, 2014.
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15 Malaysians killed