PETALING JAYA: Abu Turob, a Malaysian Jihadist, has reportedly died in conflict-ridden Syria.
He is believed to be the first Malaysian killed in the conflict pitting the army of President Bashar al-Assad against rebels fighting to oust him.
Abu Turob, which is not the real name of the self-proclaimed mujahideen, was said to be fatally wounded during a clash in Hama on Tuesday.
He succumbed to injuries on his chest and elbow following sniper attacks and tankfire at about 2pm on Aug 19, a source close to him told The Star.
Fondly known as Pak Long among the Malaysians fighting in Syria, Abu Turob, 52, was reported to have been laid to rest at a burial ground in Kafer Zeta.
Three other Malaysians, known only as Abu Aisyah, Abu Tolhah and Abu Ain, suffered injuries from bomb explosions in Arzaa.
Former rock band drummer Akel Zainal, who is also a member of the movement, confirmed the remains of Abu Turob were laid to rest in Syria.
“When I first heard the news yesterday (Tuesday) afternoon that many Malaysians were injured in the clash and that Abu Turob might have perished, I was hoping deep in my heart that it was not true,” he said.
Akel, who was deployed to defend Arzeh that was under attack, said he saw Abu Turob’s body when he was on his way to the battlefield.
He described Abu Turob as a sunny and generous character.
In a related development, Wisma Putra said it was verifying with the relevant authorities in Syria if the report was true that a Malaysian had died during a gunbattle between the group and the country’s army, near Hama.
Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman said the verification process could take several days.
“We take note of the allegation that three Malaysians were involved in militant activities in Syria and that one of them was said to have died and two others injured,” he said.
Anifah added that as a peace-loving country that practises moderation, Malaysia’s stand had always been not to condone any form of terrorism or extremism by any party, including its own nationals.
“Malaysians are always advised to be vigilant and not be lured by extremist elements,” he said.