ISIS-affiliated leaders killed in Southern Philippines

Two key ISIS-affiliated leaders engaged in a standoff with Philippines forces in the southern city of Marawi have been killed, the country's Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said Monday.

The two leaders were named as Isnilon Hapilon, who was declared terror group's emir for Southeast Asia, and Omar Maute, a leader of a local militant group that had pledged allegiance to ISIS.

The FBI was offering a reward of up to $5 million for information leading directly to Hapilon's apprehension or conviction for a litany of alleged crimes, including hostage taking, murder, and terrorist activities.

The battle for Marawi began on May 23, when the military launched an operation targeting Hapilon on the island of Mindanao, where Marawi is located.

Hapilon was thought to have issued an emergency call for reinforcements from members of the Maute group, which was headed by Omar and his brother Abdullah.

Abdullah was rumored to have been killed in early September, but the military has yet to confirm his death.

After Hapilon called for backup, militants poured into the city by the hundreds, setting fire to buildings, taking hostages and entering into running street-battles with government forces.

The violence forced over 350,000 residents to flee the city and the surrounding areas, and saw President Rodrigo Duterte declare martial law on the island shortly after.

The Philippines Congress granted Duterte's request in July to extend the emergency measure until the end of the year, despite questions over the move's constitutionality.

Developing story - more to come

This BBSNews article was syndicated from News | WPLG, and written by News | WPLG. Read the original article here.