MANILA, Philippines – Philippine officials say U.S. DNA tests have confirmed the death of a Muslim militant leader who helped lead the 2017 siege of southern Marawi city and was regarded as crucial to helping the Islamic State group gain a foothold in the region.
Interior Secretary Eduardo Ano said Sunday that the tests confirmed that Owaida Marohombsar, who was also known by his nom de guerre Abu Dar, was one of four militants killed in a March 14 gunbattle that also left four soldiers dead near southern Tubaran town in Lanao del Sur province.
The Philippine military asked U.S. authorities to confirm Marohombsar’s death through DNA tests. Marohombsar helped lead the May 23, 2017, siege, which troops quelled after five months. Most leaders of the attack were killed, but Marohombsar survived.