EXCLUSIVE: 2 Maute relatives among 4 killed in Lanao ambush

Chiara Zambrano, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 15 2017 09:13 AM | Updated as of Jun 15 2017 09:35 PM

MANILA - Two cousins of the Maute brothers leading the siege of Marawi City were among 4 people killed after a police car was reportedly ambushed in Lanao del Norte last weekend, ABS-CBN sources confirmed Thursday.

The two were arrested together with the Maute matriarch, Farhana, in Masiu, Lanao del Sur last June 9 (not July 13 as earlier reported). 

Zulkifli and Aliasgar Maute are shown in a collage of photos shared exclusively to ABS-CBN News.

In the photo above shared exclusively to ABS-CBN News, the boy on the left said his name was Hadji Solaiman while the boy on the right admitted he was Zulkifli Maute.

Both denied they are members of any terrorist group.

Solaiman even pleaded to the arresting officers to take him away from the hands of the Maute.

Records however revealed that Solaiman was in fact Aliasgar Maute and that he is the brother of Zulkifli.

The two were identified as cousins of Maute leaders Omar and Abdullah.

Zulkifli denied this, until he was shown photos of himself and Solaiman taken back in 2013, while they were training with the Maute Group in Butig and sporting the ISIS brand.

Zulkifli and Aliasgar Maute pose in a Maute training camp in Butig in 2013. A child fighter stands between them.

Zulkifli refused to comment afterwards.

On the evening after their arrest, he and Hadji were transported for inquest to Cagayan de Oro by policemen, but were reportedly ambushed by the roadside.

Three officers were wounded, but Aliasgar, Zulkifli and 2 other men arrested with them were killed.

Rebellion charges meanwhile have been filed against the Maute matriarch and 10 other individuals tagged in the terror rampage in Marawi City.

Almost the entire population of about 200,000 fled after the militants tried to overrun it, but the military believes that beyond the checkpoints now fencing off its main roads there are still some 300-600 civilians trapped or being held hostage.

Padilla said about 100 militants were still fighting, down from the estimated 400-500 who stormed the town.

As of Tuesday, the number of security forces and civilians who had died in the battle for Marawi officially stood at 58 and 26, respectively. The death toll of militants was put at 202. -- With Reuters