FBI confirms death of Isnilon Hapilon via DNA sample – Lorenzana

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, October 21) — The DNA from a dead body recovered in Marawi matches that of terrorist leader Isnilon Hapilon, the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) confirmed.

"We have received an official report that the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has confirmed that the DNA sample taken from a body recovered by our operating units in Marawi matches that of Isnilon Hapilon," Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana on Saturday said in a statement.

Hapilon, an Abu Sayyaf leader who pledged allegiance to ISIS in 2016, was killed in a firefight in Marawi early morning on October 16. He was hit in the chest area, the military said. Omar Maute, one of two brothers leading the ISIS-inspired Maute terror group was also killed.

First on CNN Philippines: How were Isnilon Hapilon and Omar Maute killed?

Their deaths led President Rodrigo Duterte to declare the liberation of Marawi on October 17, even as military troops continue to flush terrorists out of the war-torn city.

The conflict in Marawi began on May 23 when authorities raided the suspected hideout of Hapilon, who is also on the U.S. FBI's "most wanted" terrorists list with a P5-million bounty on his head.

Video footage recovered by the military in Marawi showed Hapilon and the Maute brothers planning to sow terror in the city by seizing hostages, looting, and taking over schools.

WATCH: Maute, Hapilon plan Marawi terror attack

Lorenzana said authorities are also verifying the identities of the cadavers of other suspected terrorists. The military said 850 terrorists have been killed in Marawi, along with 163 government troops and 47 civilians.

Dr. Mahmud Ahmad, a Malaysian militant who joined the Maute group and supposedly funded the Marawi attack, is believed to be among 13 Maute fighters killed on October 18.

However, the military said it is possible hostages forced to fight government troops were among those killed. Ahmad's body, meanwhile, has yet to be found.

Read: Timeline: The Marawi crisis

Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Public Affairs Office Chief Col.Edgar Arevalo on Saturday said they are still processing who will receive the P5-million bounty for Hapilon's death.

"Sa ngayon ay nandun na po tayo sa proseso of identifying who will be deserving of the bounty, but what is important is for us to be able to submit the official findings of the FBI…Mahaba po ang sinusunod nating proseso," Arevalo told CNN Philippines' Newsroom Weekend.

[Translation: For now, we are still in the process of identifying who will be deserving of the bounty, but what is important is for us to be able to submit the official findings of the FBI…We have a long process.]

He added the AFP is also waiting for the DNA confirmation for rebel leader Omar Maute and other terrorists from the FBI.