Another Malaysian ISIS militant killed in Syria; total number of such deaths now 19

An Islamic State flag is seen on a motorbike in Palmyra, Syria.
An Islamic State flag is seen on a motorbike in Palmyra, Syria. PHOTO: REUTERS

PETALING JAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Another Malaysian militant linked to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has been killed in Syria, bringing the total number of deaths to 19.

Abd Ghani Yaacob, who is from Kedah, is believed to have been killed after being shot in the chest during a battle near the Al Khair region on Apr 17, Utusan Malaysia reported.

Known as Abu Bashir and Abu Kedah among fellow militants, the 31-year-old is understood to have become attracted to ISIS activities through Facebook three years ago.

He then travelled to Turkey in December last year with the help of a fellow Malaysian, before entering Syria illegally.

Abd Ghani's death was confirmed by Special Branch Counter-Terrorism Division's principal assistant director Senior Asst Comm Datuk Ayob Khan Mydin Pitchay .

He said the deceased was connected to several other ISIS militants from Kedah such as Ismail Ishak, who was reported to have been killed in September last year.

Based on intelligence obtained by the police, Abd Ghani was not a high-ranking official in the terrorist organisation.

He had gone to Syria after divorcing his wife, whom he was only married to for five days, said SAC Ayob Khan.

"In this case, Abd Ghani had gone to Syria first while several others were waiting their turn to join him. However, we have acted swiftly to detain them," he told the Malay daily, referring to the six individuals charged in court earlier on Wednesday (April 20) with links to ISIS.

The last Malaysian reported to have been killed in Syria was 39-year-old Ahmad Salman Abdul Rahim, who sustained fatal injuries during a clash with the army of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad.