DNA test confirms death of remaining Maute-ISIS leader
A DNA test has confirmed that Abu Dar, the only leader of the Maute-ISIS Group which plotted the attack on Marawi City in 2017, is dead.
'' It is confirmed. It's Abu Dar's remains,'' said Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana in a Viber message Sunday.
''For now his group is leaderless. We are monitoring who will replace Dar,'' added Lorenzana.
Colonel Romeo Brawner, commander of the Army's 103rd Infantry Brigade, said they requested US counterparts to conduct DNA tests in one of the unidentified dead bodies in an encounter with the military last March 14 in Lanao del Sur.
“We thank our US counterparts and the citizens of Lanao del Sur for helping us neutralized the last remaining leader of the Maute-ISIS group in the person of Abu Dar. We will not rest until we neutralize all the other remnants of this terrorist group,” said Brawner.
Brawner said Owaydah Marohombsar alias Abu Dar was one of the four terrorists killed in an encounter with troops of 49th Infantry Battalion last March 14 in Tubaran, Lanao del Sur.
He said the military believes Abu Dar is the only terrorist leader who escaped when government forces regained Marawi City.
“He is regarded as the successor of Isnilon Hapilon, the emir of ISIS in Southeast Asia. who was killed in Marawi along with the Maute brothers,” said Brawner.
“The neutralization of Abu Dar is a significant accomplishment of the government and the people of Lanao del Sur who worked together to rid their beloved province of terrorists,” he added.
Abu Dar was said to be behind the Limketkai commercial area bombing in Cagayan de Oro in 2016 were several doctors were killed.
He was also responsible for killing several soldiers, policemen, and Christians in Marawi City and Lanao del Sur.
The encounter with the terrorist group last March resulted to the confiscation of rifles, pistol, grenades, magazines, ammunition and cellphones.
Four soldiers were killed and two were wounded in the clash.
“We will continue our operations so that the sacrifices of our fallen comrades in pursuit of peace will not go waste,” Brigadier General Roberto Ancan, commander of 1st Infantry Division said in a statement. Ella Dionisio/DMS