Philippines: Top Militant Believed Hiding in War-torn City
The Philippines’ defense chief says the militant leader of the group that has laid siege to a southern city is suspected to be hiding in a mosque there rather than fleeing the bombed-out city.
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana told reporters the government received information Monday that Isnilon Hapilon is hiding in Marawi. His whereabouts are the subject of intelligence reports the military continues to try to verify.
The militants aligned with the Islamic State group attacked the city May 23 and are still putting up resistance to government forces who’ve retaken most of the city. The violence has left 459 people dead.
Lorenzana says intelligence reports show Hapilon was not among three fighters who fled Marawi and arrived on Basilan island, Hapilon’s stronghold.