For months, hardly anyone walked the streets in the dead atmosphere in the impoverished town of Butig, below the mystical Lake Lanao, following a five-month siege in the Islamic city of Marawi that ended nearly two years ago. Butig was the stronghold of the Maute brothers, who led the Marawi siege in May 2017, driven by their allegiance to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. Marawi lay in rubble in the aftermath, the brothers dead. Before the siege, they had planned to turn Butig into an Islamic community along with a third partner who went by the nom de guerre Abu Dar, whose face was on the wanted posters around the small town.

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