Philippine soldiers patrol in Marawi city, Mindanao (Photo: AFP/VNA)
 
Hanoi (VNA) – The Philippine military on June 15 arrested Mohammad Noaim Maute, a senior member of the Islamic State-backed militant group Maute it is fighting in Marawi city, the southern island of Mindanao.

A military spokesman said Mohammad was arrested at a checkpoint near the coastal city of Cagayan de Oro, about 100 km from Marawi for allegedly being a bomber or an expert in making explosive devices. It was not clear whether he was coming from the besieged Marawi city.

Mohammad, who usually uses the name Abu Jadid, is a resident of Poblacion Butig in Lanao del Sur province and a Arabic teacher.

His two brothers, Omarkhayam and Abdullah, lead the Maute gang that has been at the forefront of the battle with the Philippines’ security forces in Marawi for the past four weeks, killing nearly 300 people.

Most of the other seven Maute brothers, including Omarkhayam and Abdullah, are believed to be in Marawi. Their parents were taken into custody last week in separate cities.-VNA