Philippines Says Senior Member of Daesh-Backed Group Arrested

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – The Philippines military said it has arrested one of the Maute brothers, a senior member of the Daesh-backed militants it is fighting in a southern city.

Philippines Says Senior Member of Daesh-Backed Group Arrested

Mohammad Noaim Maute, alias Abu Jadid, was arrested at a checkpoint near the coastal city of Cagayan de Oro just after dawn on Thursday, said Lt Col Jo-Ar Herrera, a military spokesman, Reuters reported.

Two of Mohammad's brothers, Omarkhayam and Abdullah, lead the Maute gang that is at the forefront of a vicious battle with security forces for Marawi City, now in its fourth week. Marawi is about 100 km (60 miles) south of Cagayan de Oro, but it was not clear whether Mohammad was coming from the besieged city.

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.

Brigadier-General Gilbert Gapay, spokesman for the military's Eastern Mindanao Command, said Maute was a suspected bomb-maker for the group. He said Maute was holding a fake student card of the Mindanao State University, based in Marawi, when stopped at the checkpoint. He was not armed.

Local police said Maute, which was founded some five years ago and pledged alliance to the Daesh (ISIL or ISIS) Takfiri terrorist group in April 2015, readily admitted his identity when questioned, adding that he was now being questioned.

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