The brains behind the Marawi siege has finally been exterminated. And decisively.
Omar Maute and Isnilon Hapilon, top leaders of Islamic State-inspired extremists Maute group, were killed in a military assault early Monday, an official said.
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said the whereabouts of Hapilon and Maute, who were holed up in a building in Marawi City, were divulged by a female hostage who managed to escape.
“They were able to get a testimony from a hostage who was able to escape. She was able to confirm the presence of Isnilon and Maute in that particular building. That’s the building that we assaulted this morning. They are confirmed dead,” Lorenzana said in a press conference.
Marawi clashes supposedly started when troops tried to serve an arrest warrant on Hapilon, which President Rodrigo Duterte claimed earlier was linked to illegal drugs.
Since clashes between state forces and the Maute group erupted about 5 months ago, about 753 terrorists have been killed. At least 47 civilians and 155 soldiers also died in the conflict.
Thousands were forced to evacuate.
Lorenzana said the death of the two terrorists signals the end of Marawi conflict but operations may continue to arrest other Maute members.
However, a confirmatory DNA test is yet to be performed, as there is a reward for the capture or death of the terrorists, including from the Philippine and international governments.
The siege of the Islamic City began May this year when Maute, with brother Abdullah, hoisted black flags of the Islamic State group and set Dansalan College on fire.
In June, the brothers’ parents- father Cayamora and mother Farhana- were arrested in separate police operations. Cayamora died in August.
The siege has reduced the once-bustling city of Marawi into ruins, with many buildings and even mosques completely destroyed and riddled with bullets and shrapnel. A rebuilding campaign has since been launched, which includes assistance from the Chinese government in the form of fleets of heavy equipment and machinery.
The ISIS-inspired local terror group still has about 20 more hostages, whom government troops are yet to rescue, according to Lorenzana. However, the military is still looking for the Maute group’s Malaysian financier Mahmud bin Ahmad, who is said to be still hiding in one of the buildings.
With the Marawi siege effectively ended with their deaths, President Duterte declared way before the endgame his next target for extermination: The NPAs.
The communists are next in the chopping block, after repeatedly failing in their word to maintain peace, the major catalyst being the assault on the Presidential Security Group convoy previously.
You can be sure personalities claiming to be ISIS will hail these scumbags as ‘martyrs’ but we aren’t sure if the caliphate officially recognizes them to begin with, having more problems on their backs right now.