Philippines Army says Islamists making 'last stand' in Marawi

Philippines Army says Islamists making 'last stand' in Marawi

Leaders, Omarkhayam Maute and Isnilon Hapilon of terrorists who seized Marawi City on May 23 were reportedly killed.

The sources said the military killed Abu Sayyaf leader Isnilon Hapilon and Omar Maute of the Maute group.

"Following their operational plan, they were able to go this morning. they were killed", Defence Secretary Delfin Lorenzana told reporters.

Because of this, the military immediately conducted an operation in the area which led to the death of the two terrorist leaders.

Military troops yesterday bombed Islamic State (IS)-inspired terrorists who have held out for over four months in Marawi City as the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) said the conflict would be over "very soon".

The Philippines government said that at least 1,066 people including 47 civilians have been killed and over 1,700 soldiers and policemen were injured.

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Lorenzana said the military was trying to locate another rebel commander, Malaysian operative Mahmud Ahmad.

Reports of the deaths of Hapilon and Maute circulated in June and April but they were found to be false.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte had offered a?10-million bounty for Hapilon.

Seventeen more hostages of the Maute Group, including a five-year old boy, were rescued early Monday, Col. Romeo Brawner, deputy commander of Task Force Ranao said.

The insurgents have surprised the military by their organisation, combat capability and their endurance of more than 130 days of ground offensives and air strikes from fighter jets, bombers and attack helicopters.

Australia is the only country aside from the U.S. which has a defence pact with the Philippines that allows its forces to train in the country. He said intelligence should be strengthened, and efforts made to tackle recruitment.

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