MANILA- The bounty for the reported new emir of the Islamic State in Southeast Asia, Abu Dar has been raised to P6 million from the initial P3 million, a military official said Thursday.
Joint Task Force Ranao Deputy Commander Col. Romeo Brawner said the bounty raise was made possible with contributions from local officials in Lanao del Sur.
Brawner said pursuit operations against Dar and his group, estimated to be around 50, are still ongoing. He admitted that government troops are having difficulties capturing Dar since the latter is hiding in a jungle.
Over 20 Maute-ISIS members surrendered Thursday to the military in Marawi City.
Most of those who surrendered came from the towns of Marantao and Piagapo, Brawner said.
The military official said they also apprehended some suspected Maute-ISIS members who joined and pretended to be residents evacuating at the height of the encounters.
“Maaaring nakahalo sila sa mga evacuees pero fortunately yung mga residente mismo ang nagtuturo sa atin kaya merong mga naapprehend, nahuli, at ininterrogate natin ngayon,” he said.
(Some terrorists could have joined evacuees but fortunately, the residents tell us so we apprehended some. We are already interrogating them.)
The firefight between the military and Islamic State-linked Maute gunmen entered its fifth day Thursday and has forced some 11,000 individuals out of their homes.