Philippines checks if key Malaysian extremist survived siege

The Philippine military is validating intelligence information that a Malaysian militant leader survived the defeat of an Islamic State group-linked siege and is helping restart efforts to establish an extremist alliance.

Brig. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana said Wednesday troops are trying to check reports that Amin Baco was wounded during the siege of southern Marawi city but managed to escape to Sulu province, where he is hiding with Abu Sayyaf militants.

Muslim rebel leader Yusop Jikiri tells The Associated Press his group received information that Baco is being protected by an Abu Sayyaf commander.

Military officials had said earlier that Baco was among the militant leaders killed in Marawi last year.