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Army Scout Rangers kill Hapilon, Omar Maute

Military sharpshooters belonging to the elite Army Scout Rangers killed Isnilon Hapilon, and Omarkhayam Maute, two leaders of the Marawi siege before dawn yesterday as security forces made their final push to retake the city from militants linked to the Middle East-based Islamic State (IS).

Philstar in its online report today said the two were killed one after the other at separate locations by elite Army Scout Ranger snipers using long-range rifles fitted with night-vision scopes.

“It’s a “clear victory against terrorism”, said Malacanang.

Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief Gen. Eduardo Año said President Duterte was “very happy” about the development and expressed his wish to go to the battle-scarred city yesterday morning.

Another high profile militant still in the main battle area in Marawi is Malaysian Dr. Mahmud Ahmad, reportedly a recruiter and financier of IS in the Philippines, Philstar also said in its article.

Eight other foreign terrorists – mostly Indonesians and Malaysians – were believed to be still holed up in Marawi, authorities said.

The Marawi battle, which broke out on May 23, has so far left more than 800 militants, 162 government forces, and 47 civilians dead, according to authorities.

President Duterte had ordered aerial bombing of the militants’ positions, sending them into retreat but leaving the city in ruins. The aerial bombings heavily damaged infrastructure, as well as civilian homes in the Islamic City. Hundreds of thousands of civilians fled to neighboring towns, and Iligan City.

Combatants of the Army’s 8th Scout Ranger Company found the remains of the two terror leaders at separate locations, according senior members of the League of Mayors in Lanao del Sur and incumbent officials of the provincial government.

Military sources said the two were among the more than a dozen gunmen killed in battle in the past days by the elite Rangers, who reportedly used remote-controlled devices to locate the militants’ exact locations.

At Camp Aguinaldo, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said information from a rescued female hostage helped the military trace the building where the two terror leaders were hiding.

“They were able to get Isnilon Hapilon and Omar Maute. They were both killed. In fact, their faces have already been splashed in the internet and in the websites, plus they were able to recover 17 hostages,” Lorenzana told reporters.(Source: Philstar)