MILF’s military chief dies

Rappler.com
Aleem Abdul Azis Mimbantas was a key leader of the MILF, supervising its military affairs

MANILA, Philippines – The military affairs chief of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front died of a heart attack Thursday night, May 3, various reports said.

Mindanews.com quoted Ghazali Jaafar, MILF vice chair, as saying that Aleem Abdul Azis Mimbantas succumed to stroke.

“He died in a hospital,” Jaafar was quoted as telling a radio station in Kidapawan City, although he declined to give details.

A senior member of the MILF’s central committee, Mimbantas was a close friend of the founder of the rebel group, Hashim Salamat, who died in 2003.

Last August, he was among the senior rebel officials who accompanied MILF chairman Al Haj Murad Ebrahim in a historic meeting with President Benigno S. Aquino III in Tokyo, Japan, according to Mindanews.

Mindanews said that his last known public appearance was on May 1 when the new president of the Japan International Cooperation Agency, Dr. Akihiko Tanaka, visited the Front’s main Camp Darapanan in Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao.

The MILF is in the middle of a peace negotiation with the Aquino government. – with reports from Mindanews.com