Hapilon’s right-hand man killed in an encounter in Marawi City – AFP

MANILA, Philippines — Two members of the Maute-ISIS terror group was killed in an encounter with government troops Wednesday night in the main battle area in Marawi City.

One of them was Abbutalha, the right-hand man of Abu Sayyaf leader Isnilon Hapilon.

“Nung nirecover natin yung mga bodies nung dalawa na identify na yung isa, katawan ni (When we recovered the two bodies, one of them was identified as the body of) Abbutalha who is considered the right-hand ni (of) Isnilon Hapilon,” said Joint Task Force Ranao Deputy Commander Col. Romeo Brawner.

Meanwhile, two soldiers were wounded in the clash.

With this development, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) believes there is no chance of a spillover of terror in nearby cities of Marawi City.

“Nabanggit naman nila sa planning nila na pagna control nila itong Marawi City within a few days ang isusunod nila ang Iligan at Cagayan de Oro as part of their plan. So pasalamat na lang tayo na di nila na control ang Marawi City,” said the commander.

(Translation: It was mentioned during their planning that if they succeed in controlling Marawi City within a few days, they will seize Iligan and Cagayan de Oro next as part of their plan. So we should be thankful that they failed to take control of Marawi City.)

The military assured returning residents of Marawi that the situation is under control and they can return safely.

Residents of seven more barangays were able to return to their homes on Thursday. — Rajel Adora | UNTV News & Rescue

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