Oct 212017

MANILA, Oct 16 (Mabuhay) — Malacañang on Monday confirmed the death of pro-ISIS Maute group leader Omar Maute and Abu Sayyaf subleader and supposed ISIS emir in Southeast Asia Isnilon Hapilon.

“We confirm that government forces killed Omar Maute and Isnilon Hapilon early morning today, Monday, the 16th of October in Marawi City,” presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella said in a statement, which echoed the earlier announcement of Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana.

He said that an initial report from Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) ground commanders in Marawi mentioned that both Maute and Hapilon were neutralized while government troops were conducting an operation to retake the remaining stronghold of the terrorists in the city.

“Our operating units have already recovered their bodies… Mopping up operations are now underway. Details of the operation will be released by the AFP as soon as permissible,” Abella said.

He added that the termination of hostilities would be announced once government troops neutralize or capture the remaining terrorists holed up in Marawi and once they clear all structures of improvised explosive devices and other traps.

“Once the fighting stops and the clearing operations end, we will put our efforts and energies on the challenging task of rebuilding and rehabilitating Marawi,” Abella said. (MNS)

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