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Philippines police on Thursday arrested an alleged member of an extremist group allied with the Islamic State (IS), a police report said.
The report said the suspect, Mohammad Noaim Maute, was arrested around 7 a.m. local time in Sta. Cruz Macasadnig in Cagayan de Oro City in the southern Philippines, a few kilometers from the besieged Marawi City that the militants overran on May 23.
Maute, who also uses the name Abu Jadid, is a resident of Poblacion Butig in Lanao del Sur province. He was allegedly a "bomber" or an expert in making improvised explosive device.
The report said Maute is also an Arabic teacher. "Said person is using fake student ID (identification card) of Mindanao State University," the report said, referring to the university in Marawi City.
The report said Maute is included in the arrest order 1 issued by Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana.
Philippine authorities have earlier arrested the parents of the so-called Maute brothers who led the attack in Marawi City, prompting President Rodrigo Duterte to put the southern Mindanao islands under martial rule.
The ongoing firefight to retake the city has entered its fourth week and has so far killed nearly 300 people, including 58 soldiers and policemen.
(ASIA PACIFIC DAILY)