MANILA – The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) on Sunday said that it is still verifying reports that Abdullah Maute, one of the ranking leaders of the Maute Group of terrorists, has been neutralized by government troops engaged in clearing operations in Marawi City.
“We received reports from JTF Marawi that there is info from the ground that a key leader (Abdullah Maute) was killed. This remains unconfirmed. We are still validating who it is and if this is true,” AFP spokesperson Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla said.
The remaining terrorists are pocketed in an area less than a square-kilometer, and the military claims that the end for the Maute Group remnants is near.
As of this posting, the number of government troops killed in the ongoing operations in Marawi City has been placed at 114 with Maute Group members killed at 482.
Civilians executed or killed by the bandits are still placed at 45.
Fighting in the city started last May 23 when soldiers made a botched attempt to arrest Abu Sayyaf leader and ISIS “emir” Isnilon Hapilon.