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2 henchmen of Maute founders yield

John Unson - Philstar.com
2 henchmen of Maute founders yield

COTABATO CITY, Philippines — Two henchmen of the founders of the Maute terror group surrendered to the Lanao del Sur police director and pledged allegiance to the government Friday.

The duo, Banto Ditopor and Jalanie Ali, were henchmen of siblings Abdullah and Omarkhayam Maute, founders of the Maute terrorist group.

The Maute brothers instigated the deadly May 23 to August 16, 2017 deadly siege of more than 10 barangays in Marawi City, the capital of Lanao del Sur, that resulted in the deaths of more than a thousand people, about 200 of them policemen, soldiers and militiamen.

Col. Jibin Bongcayao, director of the Lanao del Sur provincial police, said Saturday Ditopor and Ali turned in an M16 assault rifle and a .45 caliber Thompson during a simple surrender rite in Marawi City, where they both pledged allegiance to the government.

Ditopor and Ali separately called on members of the Maute group, many of them now with the outlawed Dawlah Islamiya, to return to the fold of law.

The Dawlah Islamiya, feared for venting ire on non-military targets over losses in clashes with pursuing state security forces, operates in the fashion of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.

The Dawlah Islamiya and its ally, the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters, have a reputation for bombing commercial establishments and public conveyances whose owners refuse to shell out “protection money” on monthly basis.

MAUTE TERROR GROUP

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