Malaysia wants Syria to verify claim that 15 suspected Malaysian militants were killed

Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar -- PHOTO: THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK 
Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar -- PHOTO: THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK 

BUKIT KAYU HITAM (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Malaysia wants Syria to verify its claim that its armed forces had killed 15 suspected Malaysian militants.

Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar said both sides were in contact and exchanging information.

"We found out that Malaysians who went there for such activities usually travelled through three or four countries," he said, adding that police were also aware of militants in Malaysia trying to recruit new members.

The target were usually youths in their 20s, said Mr Khalid.

"Investigation is still ongoing and there will be arrests made every now and then. Just wait. Most importantly, we want to trace their activities from here.

"We know they are using social media to coax and plead (to get members)," he told reporters after launching the Bukit Aman CIDs Border Intelligence Unit and Northern Region Base at the Bukit Kayu Hitam police station on Wednesday.

A Malaysian embassy official in Lebanon said Syrian authorities had yet to formally submit proof to Malaysia of the involvement of Malaysians in militant activities in the country.

The official said since Malaysian embassies in Syria and Iraq were closed, the authorities would alert the nearest mission in a neighbouring country of any case or incident involving Malaysians.

"And to date, we were not contacted to identify any body," he said.

On June 18, a Syrian permanent representative to the United Nations had claimed during a press conference in New York that 15 Malaysians were among the many suspected foreign militants that had been killed in Syria.

On Tuesday, the Malaysian Embassy in Jordan also said it had not received any confirmation from Iraqi authorities over reports that Pahang-born Ahmad Tarmimi Maliki was allegedly involved in a suicide bombing which killed 25 elite Iraqi soldiers on May 26.

Foreign Ministry press secretary Datin Nirvana Jalil Ghani also clarified that it did not have any authority to issue death certificates.

"Death certificates for deaths that occur overseas can only be issued by authorities of that particular country.

"To say the family of the alleged suicide bomber has yet to receive a death certificate from Wisma Putra is incorrect," she said, refuting a recent report claiming that Tarmimi's family had yet to get any death certificate.

"With regards to the claim a Malaysian was involved in a suicide bombing, the ministry is working closely with the relevant Malaysian and foreign authorities to verify it," she said.

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