Last Update 15:44
Monday, 18 June 2018

Philippines arrests suspected pro-IS militant over siege

AFP , Monday 5 Mar 2018
Philippines Police Marawi
This handout photo taken and released by the Philippine National Police on March 5, 2018 shows Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Ronald dela Rosa (R) speaking next to Nasser Lomondot (yellow), a suspected pro-Islamic State jihadist, during a press conference at the PNP headquarters in Manila. Philippine police announced on March 5 the arrest of a suspected pro-Islamic State jihadist accused of killing civilians in last year's deadly siege of the southern city of Marawi.
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Philippine police announced on Monday the arrest of a suspected pro-Islamic State jihadist accused of killing civilians in last year's deadly siege of the southern city of Marawi.

Hundreds of gunmen flying black IS group flags seized Marawi in May last year, triggering a five-month battle that claimed more than 1,100 lives, in a bid to establish a caliphate in the largely Catholic country.

Nasser Lomondot was arrested on Saturday in Manila, months after he fled the fighting in Marawi.

"He participated in the killing of innocent civilians and committed violence against female and child hostages," regional military spokesman Major Ronald Suscano told reporters.

As government forces battled to wrest back control of Marawi, Lomondot directed a diversionary attack by pro-IS group gunmen in the neighbouring town of Marantao, Suscano added.

"He was one of the key planners of the attack in Marantao town ...while the firefight was still ongoing" in Marawi, Suscano said.

Lomondot was arrested with a second pro-IS group suspect, Manila police chief Oscar Albayalde said in a statement.

The Philippine military warned last month that the remaining militants from Marawi have mustered a force of about 200 gunmen to launch a second attempt to put up a caliphate in the country's south.

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