ISIS-affiliated leaders killed in Southern Philippines

Henrietta Strickland
October 16, 2017

Isnilon Hapilon, the anointed "emir" of Islamic State in Southeast Asia, and Omarkhayam Maute, one of two brothers at the helm of the militant alliance, may have been killed in a battle to retake Marawi City, but the authorities still needed confirmation, said Colonel Edgard Arevalo, a military spokesman.

But Brawner declined to comment on reports that Maute Group leader Omar Maute and Abu Sayyaf's Isnilon Hapilon, were killed during the rescue operations.

The Philippine armed forces said on Monday that unconfirmed battlefield reports indicate the military had killed two leaders of the pro-Islamic State alliance holed up in a southern city for almost five months.

Military troops yesterday bombed Islamic State (IS)-inspired terrorists who have held out for over four months in Marawi City as the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) said the conflict would be over "very soon".

Since then at least 822 militants, 162 government soldiers and 47 civilians have been killed. Lorenzana said the military was trying to locate another rebel commander, Malaysian operative Mahmud Ahmad.

Photos from ABS-CBN sources show the cadavers of Isnilon Hapilon and Omar Maute.

Marawi Crisis Management Committee head Zia Alonto Adiong said 17 hostages were rescued on Monday. "We may announce the termination of hostilities in the couple of days".

President Rodrigo Duterte declared martial law across the island of Mindanao, of which Marawi is a part.

Philippine troops have been supported by USA and Australian technical support, including use of surveillance planes. He said intelligence should be strengthened, and efforts made to tackle recruitment.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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