Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Western Mindanao Command has confirmed that Maute leader Owaydah Marohombsar, alias Abu Dar, was one of the four terrorists killed in an armed engagement with the troops of the 49th Infantry Battalion in Tubaran, Lanao del Sur on March 14.
According to Western Mindanao Command, the Philippine authorities requested their Unites States counterparts to subject the then-unidentified body to DNA testing when informants initially identified it as that of Abu Dar, believed to be the only terrorist leader who escaped when government forces took back Marawi in 2017.
Abu Dar is considered as the successor of Isnilon Hapilon, the emir of ISIS in Southeast Asia who was also killed in Marawi along with the Maute brothers.
“His death brought to a feat our focused operations against beleaguered fighters of the Dawlah Islamiya-Maute group, but this success will not stop us from furthering our offensives to triumph over terrorist groups in our area,” said Lieutenant General Arnel Dela Vega, Western Mindanao Command chief.
“We, nevertheless, carry out our intense operations to pursue remaining rebels cowered by the resilience and resolve of our combat troops,” he added.
“Rest assured of our commitment and our cooperation with the local government and the people to realize the internal security and development in Mindanao,” said Dela Vega.
According to Western Mindanao Command, Abu Dar is said to be responsible for bombing the Limketkai Commercial Area in Cagayan de Oro in 2013 where several doctors were killed. He was also responsible for killing several soldiers, policemen, and Christians in Marawi City and Lanao del Sur.