Peace remains elusive in Mindanao as clashes between government forces and terrorist groups continue to erupt in various areas of the strife-torn region.
In Lanao del Sur, reports reaching Camp Aguinaldo said four soldiers and four terrorists belonging to the Islamic State-linked Dawlah Islamiya (DI) group were killed during recent clashes in the town of Tubaran.
This as Col. Romeo Brawner, Jr., commander of the Army’s 103rd Infantry Brigade, said they are trying to determine if one of those recovered remains on Friday could be Owayda Benito Marohomsar, also known as Abu Dar.
Dar is believed to be the new leader of ISIS-Southeast Asia following the death of then self-declared emir Isnilon Hapilon in 2017 during the Marawi siege.
He added the dead man’s face is a little bit deformed from a gunshot wound so they could not directly confirm if he was indeed Dar, although the scar on his face indicates he could be the militant leader.
Recovered from him were caliber .45 pistol, cameras and several cellphones.
The military official said they have already submitted DNA samples of the deceased to the Scene of the Crime Operatives to validate its identity.
It would take at least a month of waiting for them to know the results.
Should the remains prove to be, those of Abu Dar, Brawner said he sees the downfall of ISIS in Lanao provinces.
“It could mean the end of Dawlah Islamiya in Lanao because they are leader-centric,” he said.