Manila, Oct 21 (IANS) The FBI has confirmed that DNA from a dead body recovered in the Philippines’ conflict-hit Marawi city matches that of terrorist leader Isnilon Hapilon, a defence official said here on Saturday.
“We have received an official report that the US Federal Bureau of Investigation has confirmed that the DNA sample taken from a body recovered by our operating units in Marawi matches that of Isnilon Hapilon,” Defence Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said in a statement.
Hapilon, an Abu Sayyaf leader who pledged allegiance to the Islamic State (IS) terror group in 2016, was killed in a gunfight in Marawi on October 16, reports CNN Philippines. He was hit in the chest area
Omar Maute, one of two brothers leading the IS-inspired Maute terror group was also killed.
Their deaths led President Rodrigo Duterte to declare the liberation of Marawi on October 17, even as military troops continue to flush terrorists out of the war-torn city.
The conflict in Marawi began on May 23 when authorities raided the suspected hideout of Hapilon, who was also on the FBI’s “most wanted” terrorists list with a P5-million bounty on his head.
Video footage recovered by the military in Marawi showed Hapilon and the Maute brothers planning to sow terror in the city by seizing hostages, looting, and taking over schools, CNN Philippines reported.
Lorenzana said authorities were also verifying the identities of the cadavers of other suspected terrorists.
The military said 850 terrorists have been killed in Marawi, along with 163 government troops and 47 civilians.
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