The government forces killed the two terrorist leaders linked to Islamic State in the Marawi city, signalling the end of the crisis, Defence chief Delfin Lorenzana said.
“Two key ISIS-affiliated leaders engaged in a stand-off with the Philippine forces in the southern city of Marawi have been killed. The two leaders were named as Isnilon Hapilon, who was declared terror group’s emir for the Southeast Asia, and Omar Maute, a leader of a militant group that pledged allegiance to the ISIS,” the CNN quoted the country’s Defence Secretary, as saying.
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte had offered a ?10-million bounty for Hapilon. This is on top of the USD 5-million reward offered by the United States for the Abu Sayyaf leader. The government had also offered ?5-million bounty for each of the two Maute brothers.
Lorenzana said with the death of the two leaders, the military is preparing for retaliation of the Maute group.
“We know the modus of the enemy is to do diversions here and there,” he said.
Duterte had imposed a martial law in his home region of Mindanao, of which Marawi is a part to conduct a crackdown on the ISIS-aligned extremists as Hapilon and Maute led the raid on Marawi in May, forcing hundreds of residents to flee.
As many as 162 soldiers have been killed and more than 1,700 others were wounded in the operation by the security forces.
The government forces have killed 817 Maute fighters since a fight broke out on May 23 in the Marawi city. There were 47 civilian casualties.