Philippines: US DNA tests confirm death of IS-linked leader

Elias Hubbard
April 15, 2019

Marohombsar helped lead the May 23, 2017, siege, which troops quelled after five months.

He was one of those who plotted the siege, which would go on to become the longest urban battle in the modern history of the Philippines. The violence displaced almost 360,000 residents and left the mosque-studded city in ruins.

"Abu Dar is confirmed dead".

Abu Dar was among a number of militants killed in the southern town of Tubaran, according to CNN Philippines. "We will not rest until we neutralize all the other remnants of this terrorist group", said Col. Romeo Brawner Jr., Commander of the 103rd Infantry "Haribon" Brigade.

The death of local terrorist leader Benito Marohombsar or "Abu Dar" was confirmed Sunday after the DNA test conducted on the cadaver believed to be of the Dawla Islamiya Lanao leader turned out positive.

Scene of the Crime Operatives (SOCO) took a nail sample from the body which was compared to the DNA of his family or relatives.

The two leaders referred to by Brawner were Isnilon Hapilon, an Abu Sayyaf leader and said to be the IS emir for Southeast Asia, and Omar Maute, who led the attack in Marawi City in May 2017.

"We are seeing now the decline of Daesh influence in the region".

Four soldiers were killed and 2 wounded in the March clash with Abu Dar's forces. "He is really into violent extremism".

Dr. Rohan Gunaratna, head of the Singapore-based International Center for Political Violence and Terrorism Research, said confirmation of Abu Dar's death was a blow to Daesh.

"We thank our United States counterparts and the citizens of Lanao Del Sur for helping us neutralize the last remaining leader of the Maute-ISIS Group in the person of Abu Dar. The strategy of the Philippines is to contain, isolate and eliminate the four IS-centric groups that threaten the Philippines", he told Arab News.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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