FBI confirms death of Abu Sayyaf militant leader in Philippines hinh anh 1Philippine Defence Minister Delfin Lorenzana (R) Commander Eduardo Ano (M) hold photo of Isnilon Hapilon, leader of the Abu Sayyaf militant group at a press briefing on October 16 (Source: VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) – The Philippines’s security forces have killed Isnilon Hapilon, leader of the Abu Sayyaf militant group, in an assault in the southern city of Marawi.

Hapilon, with alleged link to Islamic State (IS) extremists, is one of the most wanted terrorist leaders in the Philippines, Philippine Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said on October 21 as citing the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

“We have received an official report that the US FBI has confirmed that the DNA sample taken from a body recovered by our opening units in Marawi matches that of Isnilon Hapilon," said Lorenzana.

The process of verification is also being conducted on the cadavers of the other terrorists that have been recovered so far, he added.

The Philippine military killed Hapilon and Omarkhayam Maute during an assault before dawn on October 16.

Earlier, the US State Department had offered 5 million USD for the arrest of Hapilon.

Hapilon is the leader of the Abu Sayyaf Group, a jihadist organisation in the Philippines founded with funds from al-Qaeda that also pledged loyalty to IS.

The militant group is behind the spate of kidnappings and numerous bombing attacks in the Philippines.

Hapilon, along with the Maute brothers, led the May 23 attack on Marawi. The military said IS militants from neighboring Malaysia and Indonesia also took part in the siege.

More than 1,000 people have been killed in the conflict that broke out on May 23, prompting Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte to place Mindanao under martial law.

Duterte declared to have liberated Marawi from the IS militants on October 17.-VNA