The Phillippines' most wanted terrorist has allegedly been killed by his bodyguards and not by rival group as it was originally thought.

Abdul Basit Usman, head of the special operation of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters Islamist organisation, was found dead on 3 May amid suspicions he was killed by the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.

A report from the Armed Forces of the Philippines later said Usman was allegedly killed by his bodyguards who tried to obtain the $1m (£660,556) bounty on the leader offered by the US department.

AFP chief general Gregorio Pio Catapang said the bodies of Usman and seven of his bodyguards were found as the group was travelling to a rebel camp in Guindulungan town, in Maguindano when a firefight erupted. "The bodies were discovered by Moro Islamic Liberation Front rebels," he said.

But the Moro Islamic Liberation Front rejected the AFP report claiming responsibility for the killing.

Muslim rebel groups in the Philippines

Moro Islamic Liberation Front is the largest Muslim group in the Philippines and it demands the independence of the Bangsamoro land in the southern region of the country. When it signed a peace deal in March 2014 alongside government officials, it agreed Bangsamoro could become an independent Muslim land by 2016 if rebels stopped carrying out attacks in the country.

It is believed violence linked to the group's insurgence has killed some 120,000 people since 1976, when it was formed from the Moro National Liberation Front.

The Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters separated from the Moro Islamic Liberation Front some four years ago and vowed to continue to fight for independence and build an Islamic state.

While the former group pledged allegiance to Islamic State (Isis), Moro Islamic Liberation Front condemned the terrorists for their brutality and published an open letter criticising IS's "barbarism and savagery".

It is believed Usman's death could facilitate ongoing peace talks between the Filipino government and the group.