MANILA- The military is confirming reports that Maute brothers Omar and Madie were killed in clashes between government troops and Islamic State-linked terrorists in Marawi City.
Philippine Army 1st Infantry Division spokesperson Lt. Col. Jo-Ar Herrera on Saturday said there were "strong indications" that Omar and Madie, two of several Maute siblings tagged in terror activities, were killed in government offensives.
"There are reports that Omar and Madie were killed in the operations. We are still validating this report but there are strong indications that they [were] killed," he said in a press briefing.
Herrera, however, did not say when the terrorists were killed and in which specific operation. Firefights between government troops and terror groups are now into its third week.
Armed Forces Chief of Staff Eduardo Año previously said President Rodrigo Duterte earlier offered a P5 million reward for the arrest of Omar and another Maute sibling Abdullah.
The reported death of the two extremists comes following the arrest of the Maute family's matriarch, Ominta Romato "Farhana" Maute, on Friday afternoon.
Farhana and two other injured Maute group members were arrested after their vehicle was intercepted in Brgy. Kormatan, Masiu town, ARMM Regional Police Director Reuben Theodore Sindac said.
Sources said Farhana, mother of the terror leaders, was the group's courier, financier, and link to foreign terror groups.
Herrera said Farhana has been transported away from Marawi City to a "safe place," and is now currently undergoing investigation.
He also confirmed that Abu Sayyaf leader Isnilon Hapilon was still in Marawi City.
Clashes had erupted between state forces and terror groups on May 23 following an attempt to arrest the terror leader, said to be the anointed ISIS chief in Southeast Asia.
The military earlier released a video of Hapilon and cohorts plotting attacks around Marawi City days before the siege began.
The Maute's patriarch, Cayamora Maute, was also apprehended Tuesday morning at a checkpoint in Sirawan, Toril, Davao City.
Government troops have killed more than 100 terrorists since firefights began.