Sacked PAS member Mohd Lofti killed in Syria

15 Sep 2014 / 02:40 H.

    KUALA LUMPUR: Sacked Kedah PAS information chief turned jihadist Mohd Lofti Ariffin (pix), who was seriously wounded in an air raid in Syria last week, died just days after slipping into a coma on Saturday.
    The 46-year-old was among a group of Isis militants and other Malaysian jihadist engaged in a gun battle when Syrian military fighter jets bombed their location during the skirmish last Tuesday.
    It is learnt that Malaysian authorities are aware of his death following intelligence reports received from their international counterparts.
    It was also reported that Mohd Lofti's older brother had confirmed the death of his sibling when contacted by the media.
    It is learnt that another Malaysian, Mohammad Fadhlan Shahidi Mohammad Khir, 21, was killed instantly during the air strike while another, identified only as Abu Afghan, was injured.
    Mohammad Fadhlan, who was also from Kedah and the youngest among Malaysian jihadists in Syria, left to join the group in May.
    Mohd Lofti, a father of eight children was last seen in Malaysia in January before he left for Syria without informing his family in Kuala Ketil.
    He posted several photos of himself in military fatigues with other militants at a Syrian battlefield on Facebook revealing that he had joined a hardline Islamist group called "Ahrar al-Sham" to fight "Allah's cause".
    PAS distanced itself from Mohd Lofti, condemning his participation in the Syrian civil war, before announcing his sacking from the party in May.
    Mohd Lofti, who was the fourth Malaysian to be killed in Syria, had previously been involved in several other holy wars in other countries. He is said to have undergone extensive militant training during that time before heading to Syria where he was tasked to take charge of the Malaysian factions.
    There are about 30 Malaysians including a family of four and five former detainees of the repealed Internal Security Act (ISA) who are in Syria fighting the civil war alongside the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isis) militants.
    Malaysian police sources said it was highly unlikely the remains of locals killed in Syria will be repatriated here as the process was complicated and the cost of doing so is high.
    Police are powerless in acting against those who leave for Syria or planned to do as these individuals leave the country on a "multi-point" air travel to avoid detection, sources told theSun.

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