ABU Sayyaf leader Isnilon Hapilon and 28 of his men ready to die for him are tunneling under a mosque hoping to escape the war zone in Marawi City, multiple military sources said Wednesday.
“Isnilon Hapilon knew he was deserted by his Maranao followers so he has to find ways to bail himself and his remaining men out from Marawi City. They continue to dig in under a mosque hoping to reach the lake or the Agus River,” a high-ranking military officer said.
The military confirmed that Hapilon was still alive and inside the war zone, despite earlier reports that he had escaped along with brothers Abdullah and Omar Maute, leaders of the Islamic State-inspired terrorist group that stormed Marawi City on Aug. 23.
Some 539 terrorists and 122 soldiers have been killed in the fighting so far, and 45 civilians have died. The remaining terrorists—said to be from 50 to 70, including foreign …