AFP: Only 1 Maute brod alive
All but one of the seven Maute brothers involved in the fighting in Marawi City were believed to had been killed, the military said on Friday.
Armed Forces of the Philippines spokesperson Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla said Omar Maute was the only one left among the brothers who lead militant fighters in the Marawi siege, as reported by the ground commander.
Still, the military could only be certain once it had recovered the bodies, Padilla added.
“They have reason to believe that only one of the Maute brothers remains in the fight, and this is Omar. The rest are believed to have been killed,” Padilla told a press briefing in Malacañang.
“But just the same, we need to, with finality and certainty, recover their bodies and subject them to DNA testing before a categorical statement can be issued,” he added.
He also said Abu Sayyaf leader Isnilon Hapilon is believed to be still in Marawi, based on the statements of hostages who had escaped from the extremists.
He disputed claims that Hapilon had escaped from the city, saying that if the latter did this, he would have turned his back on his fellow fighters and he would no longer be recognized as their leader.
Padilla also said the pro-Islamic State extremists in Marawi were confined to a certain area.
“Fighting has been very fierce. It has been at close quarter battle in the area. But our forces are determined and are focused to seek to end this rebellion as soon as possible,” he said.
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