The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) is validating reports from the battleground in Marawi City that a key leader of the Islamic State-linked Maute Group was killed by soldiers.
In a statement on Sunday, Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla, spokesman for the AFP, said a Maute leader was among the casualties in the clearing operations being carried out by state troops.
A report relayed by ground commanders to Joint Task Force (JTF) Marawi said a terrorist leader who could be Abdullah Maute was killed.
“This remains unconfirmed. We are still validating who it is and if this is true,” Padilla said.
According to Capt. Jo-ann Petinglay, spokesman for the AFP’s Western Mindanao Command, the report was received on Sunday.
“We are still verifying [this report]since our troops from the ground gave this,” she told reporters in a phone interview.
Government forces have been battling Maute members for more than two months. The Maute group seized parts of Marawi in May in their attempt to establish a caliphate in the city.