Maute cousin, 8 stragglers killed in mopping-up raid
A COUSIN of Omar Maute and eight other stragglers were killed as government soldiers continued to mop up in Marawi City on Sunday, the military reported Monday.
Killed in fierce fighting was Ibrahim Maute alias Abu Jamil, a cousin of the late Maute brothers Omar and Abdulah, who led a five-month occupation of parts of Marawi City, said Col. Romeo Brawner, deputy commander of Joint Task Force Ranao.
Brawner said the main battle area was still off limits to the public because of the danger posed by stragglers from the terrorist group that overran Marawi on May 23.
The Philippine National Police, meanwhile, said Minhati Madrais, wife of Omar Maute, was in charge of logistics and the finances of the Maute terrorist group during the five-month siege of Marawi.
PNP chief Ronald dela Rosa said Madrais, an Indonesian national who was arrested Sunday, was a “hardcore” follower of the Islamic State and helped her husband spread the IS doctrine in the Philippines.
Northern Mindanao police who arrested her in her house found bomb-making materials.
Her arrest came weeks after the military announced the end of the battle for Marawi that killed more than 1,100 people, including 165 soldiers.
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana on Monday played down the capability of terrorist stragglers in Marawi to threaten the security of the city.
At present, a dozen of foreign militants—Malaysians and Indonesians, who survived the final assault leading to the liberation of Marawi City, are engaged in hit-and-run fighting with security forces at the periphery of the main battle area.
“They are no longer a force to reckon with because they can no longer hold the ground and sustain the fight. They fire and run away,” Lorenzana said.
Among the foreign jihadists still holed up in the battle zone is Malaysian Amin Baco, who was earlier reported dead.
Baco was with four other Malaysian battle-trained fighters who slipped out of Malaysia following a crackdown of Muslim extremists there, and had sought sanctuary in Basilan and Sulu and established an alliance with Isnilon Hapilon’s Abu Sayyaf group.
Lorenzana said Baco was in the middle of the IS hierarchy in Southeast Asia.
With no leaders left above him, he could be taking over the remnants of the terrorists who overran Marawi, Lorenzana said, but would be unable to mass enough fighters to threaten the city.