Philippines checking reported killing of extremist leader

Philippine military officials say they're checking intelligence reports that a Libya-educated commander of the Abu Sayyaf extremist group linked has died after being wounded in an artillery strike in the south.

Brig Gen. Cirilito Sobejana said Saturday that if the reported killing of Yassir Igasan in southern Sulu province turns out to be true, it would add to a leadership crisis within the Abu Sayyaf. The group has lost many commanders to combat and surrenders in recent years.

Sobejana said the military received intelligence that Igasan was seriously wounded by artillery fire in the hinterlands of Sulu's Patikul town in October and then died later.

Igasan has been regarded as a candidate to succeed an Islamic State group leader killed in battle in southern Marawi city last year.