THE US Federal Bureau of Investigation confirmed that the DNA samples tested by it, as requested by the Philippine government, matched that of terrorist leader Isnilon Hapilon, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said on Saturday.
“We have received an official report that the US Federal Bureau of Investigation has confirmed that taken from a body recovered by our operating units in Marawi matches that of Isnilon Hapilon,” Lorenzana said in a statement.
“This process of verification is also being conducted on the cadavers of other terrorists that have been recovered so far,” he added.
The confirmation came a day after the DNA samples of Marawi siege leaders Hapilon and Omar Maute were sent to the FBI for testing.
Isnilon and Omar were killed in an early morning operation last Monday.
Omar was shot in the head by a government sniper while Isnilon died of gunshot wounds to his chest.
Hapilon and Maute had a P10-million and P5-million reward, respectively, on their heads from the government while the US government, through the FBI, offered a $5-million reward for Isnilon’s apprehension or conviction.
President Rodrigo Duterte said Marawi City had been liberated from the terrorists following the confirmation of Hapilon and Omar’s deaths.
This, even as pockets of fighting remains in some parts of Marawi.
Early on Saturday, Western Mindanao Command’s Lt. Gen. Ernesto Galvez Jr. said Marawi could be declared totally free from armed clashes on Sunday, as government troops took aim at only three buildings where the few remaining pro-ISIS terrorists are hiding, but still resisting.
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