MANILA - Abdullah Maute, a leader of the 3 month-long terrorist rampage in Marawi City, has been killed in state offensives, the Army's Western Mindanao Command (Wesmincom) said Tuesday.
"Mayroon pong 4 na separate reports na patay na po talaga si Abdullah Maute," Wesmincom chief Lt. Gen. Carlito Galvez Jr. told DZMM.
Maute was likely killed after military planes dropped bombs in Marawi between August 14 and 26, Galvez said in a press briefing Monday.
"Lately po, siguro mga 5 days ago, may nasagap po kami sa Instagram saka Facebook na tribute to Abu Hassan, iyun po ang kanyang pangalan sa ISIS," the official added during his DZMM interview.
Extremists led by Maute, his brother Omar and Abu Sayyaf leader Isnilon Hapilon seized parts of Marawi on May 23 to establish an Islamic State caliphate in Southeast Asia.
The military has kept up airstrikes to destroy rebel defense barriers, said Galvez.
The extremists, he said, still hold some 56 hostages and have forced some 80 other residents to take up arms and fight security forces.
Galvez added that Marawi residents can now return home to 6 villages cleared of terrorists while authorities tighten security around Lake Lanao to block possible rebel reinforcements.