Top Marawi siege leaders killed in clashes

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Four military and police officials told The Associated Press that Isnilon Hapilon, who is listed among the FBI's most-wanted terror suspects, and Omarkhayam Maute were killed in a gunbattle and their bodies were found Monday in Marawi.

Maute and three of his siblings, who also have been reportedly killed in the Marawi clashes, belonged to an IS-aligned militant alliance in Southeast Asia which Hapilon headed. Lorenzana said teams were being sent to cities around Davao, Cotabato, Basilan and Zamboanga to meet with barangay leaders and residents, urging vigilance and briefing them on signs of suspicious activity to watch out for.

"We will announce the termination of hostilities once government forces have ensured that there are no more terrorists-stragglers in the city and we have cleared all structures of IEDs and other traps", he added.

The Philippine government had offered a 10m Philippines peso bounty for Hapilon on top of the $5m reward offered by the US. Because yesterday (Sunday), they were able to get a testimony from a hostage who was able to escape and she, kasi babae sya (she is a woman), was able to confirm the presence of Isnilon and Maute in that particular building. They bring to 1,771 the total number of hostages recovered since the start of the crisis.

Meanwhile, Lorenzana has said that their troops are now searching for Malaysian terrorist Mahmud Ahmad, who is believed to be a financier of the terrorist group.

"We were supposed to go to Marawi today with the President but we were advised by ground commanders not to go because they will conduct the assault this morning", the defence minister was quoted by the Philippines Star as saying.

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. More than 350,000 people from Marawi and its nearby towns have been displaced by the fighting.

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The military said at least 47 civilians have been killed by the terrorists.

The Philippines military is about to end the long battle of Marawi where an Islamic State-linked terrorist group is making its "last stand" amid heavy fighting, top army commanders announced, according to AFP.

Lorenzana said rewards from other countries, especially from the United States, were forthcoming, and would be given to the people who provided information that led to the deaths of the two terrorists.

Lorenzana said martial law will not be lifted yet.

He said after the cessation of hostilities in Marawi "within this week", they will "assess the entire Mindanao if there is a need to recommend to the President the lifting of martial law".

The Defense Department and Marawi local government will supervise all reconstruction efforts, Lorenzana said.

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