Three suspected members of the Maute-ISIS terror group were killed in a raid in Pantar town in Lanao del Norte before dawn Friday, a military official said.
Lieutenant Colonel Eliezer Valdez Jr., commander of the 4th Mechanized Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army, said that the suspects shot it out with members of the joint military and police team in Barangay Lumba Punod in Pantar.
Valdez identified the slain leader of the group as Omar Daiser. Two of his unidentified companions were also killed in the shootout that started at about 2:30 a.m.
Daiser was one of jailed members the Maute group freed in the early days of the Marawi City siege last May, and was able to slip out of the main area of the five-month battle that ended in October.
Acting on a tip from concerned citizens, the joint raiding team located Daiser’s group hideout in Lumba Puntod, Valdez said, adding that the three put up fierce resistance until their deaths.
Recovered from the scene were high-powered firearms that included four Armalite rifles, one M203 grenade launcher, one Pietro Beretta 9mm pistol with police property markings along with three bandoleers and assorted ammunition.
Authorities are still establishing the identities of the two slain suspects with investigators following some leads from pieces of paper found in their pockets, which contained some names and bank account numbers.
Source: GMA News