Philippine Soldiers Clear Explosives From Marawi City

Duterte to EU

He was killed Monday, tests confirmed.

MANILA, Philippines -The United States Embassy in Manila on Sunday said the USA government's assistance in identifying the remains of slain terror leader Isnilon Hapilon proves it remains a Philippine ally. DNA samples from the dead terrorist leaders were shown to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), stressed the head of the Armed Forces, General Eduardo Año. Washington has backed efforts by the Philippines, a treaty ally, to combat terrorism for years.

"This is yet another example of how the US Is supporting our friend, partner, and ally in the fight against terror", the embassy said.

Philippine Defence Secretary Delfin Lorenzana announced on Monday the "termination of all combat operations" in the southern Philippine city of Marawi, saying the city has been cleared of the last terrorists, China's Xinhua news agency reported.

Lorenzana said hostages the militants had held were recovered a few days earlier.

The confirmation of the deaths of Hapilon and Maute would pave the way for the payment of huge USA and Philippine bounties offered for the two. He said, "There are no more militants inside Marawi City".

A soft-spoken Islamic preacher born to a family of militants on southern Basilan island, Hapilon had been linked to several major attacks in the southern Philippines, including kidnappings, bombings and attacks on urban centers.

Among the foreign militants believed to be with the remaining gunmen in Marawi were Malaysian militant Amin Baco and an Indonesian known only as Qayyim.

The fighting has left at least 1,131 people dead, including 919 militants and 165 soldiers and police.

Malaysia's defense minister says the siege of a Philippine city by pro-Islamic State group militants is a wakeup call for the region. The two governments have deployed surveillance aircraft and drones to help Filipino troops rout the Marawi militants.



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