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Military still verifying possible death of terror leader Abu Dar

ABU DAR
From PNP wanted list

MARAWI CITY — Top military officials are still validating whether one of the four suspected terrorists killed in a clash Thursday with government troops in Tubaran town in Lanao del Sur was Abu Dar, believed to be the successor of Isnilon Hapilon, reported emir of the Islamic State in Southeast Asia.

Eight were killed while two were wounded in a clash between government forces and suspected members of the Dawlah Islamiya (DI) Lanao in Tubaran town, Lanao del Sur around 5 p.m. Thursday, March 14.

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Of the eight, four were government soldiers and four were members of the terror group led by Owayda Benito Marohomsar, also known as Abu Dar.

Col. Romeo Brawner, Jr., commander of the Philippine Army’s 103rd Infantry Brigade, said they were validating whether one of the casualties was Abu Dar after military sources pointed out features in some parts of his body, imcluding scars from his previous battles.

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“Yung tama niya is sa mukha eh. Medyo deformed yung mukha niya ngayon kaya medyo there was doubt na si (He was hit in the face, so his face was deformed, so, there are doubts that it is) Abu Dar but there were signs,” Brawner said.

For instance meron siyang scar sa mukha and according to ‘yung mga kasamahan niya dati na nandito na sa atin, ‘yung scar na ‘yun ay patunay na ito nga si (he had a scar on the face and those who knew him testified that thw scar could prove that it is) Abu Dar,” Brawner added.

Of the four casualties from the terror group, two bodies were retrieved on Friday (March 15) while the other two were only reported by intelligence sources.

Abu Dar’s former followers also said he he had a wound on his back during an encounter in January.

“According to them, he was hit at the back. When we verified, he really has a (scar). Plus yung mga gamit, yung back pack ng namatay na yun, merong pera, merong .45 caliber pistol na maganda, may mga cameras and maraming cellphones.
Sabi ng mga informants natin, si Abu Dar lang ang may hawak ng mga ito,” Brawner pointed out.

(Plus the guns, the backpack of that dead one had money, had a good .45 caliber pistol, cameras and many cellphones. Our informants say only Abu Dar held these.)

The military is now submitting DNA samples to the Scene of the Crime Operatives (SOCO) to validate the identity of the body. Brawner said it would take at least a month for them to ger the result.

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The provincial government of Lanao del Sur has taken care of the needs of more than 200 families which temporarily fled their homes in Tubaran and Pagawayan because of the fighting./lzb

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