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Only around 100 Maute terrorists left in Marawi - AFP



MAS YAHYA

Marawi City, Lanao del Sur
June 22, 2017


The military has said that there are only over a hundred terrorists fighting against the government in Marawi after one month of battle.

In a statement sent to Ranao Star, Lt. Col. Jo-ar Herrera, spokesperson of Joint Task Force Marawi, said, the number of enemies that are currently being engaged dwindled to a little over a hundred. 

“According to the information we are getting from the ground troops operating in the area, there are more or less 100 members of Maute terrorist group left after the 1-month battle here in Marawi,” he said.

Herrera said that escaping terrorists blend with evacuees in Marawi.

"After the series of arrests of alleged members of Maute terrorist group including the parents of Maute brothers who led the attacks in Marawi City," He said, "hopeless terrorist members have chosen to abandon their firearms and blend in with civilian evacuees who are escaping from ground zero."

Herrera said: "As their bailiwick native land, the terrorists are knowledgeable of the terrain here in Marawi City. They are also using that advantage to slip out of the area to escape. But the authorities assure that the combined strength of the security forces and other government agencies, these terrorists have nowhere to hide.”

Meanwhile, Brig. Gen. Ramiro Manuel A Rey, the commander of Task Force Ranao, said
IEDs (Improvised Explosive Devices) are causing the clearing operations to take one sure step at a time.

“The Maute terrorists are pushed back in a corner due to the AFP’s continuous effort. But they are using IEDs to block the government troops. They are also using hostages as human shields and slaves from gaining grounds. Hostages were even forced to place LPG tanks with fuel as IEDs against the AFP troops. The cause of the fire eruptions inside ground zero was caused by LPG tanks strapped with fuel and is detonated as troops continue to gain ground,” Brig. Gen. Rey said. 

As of Wednesday, June 21, 2017, the AFP counted a total of 268 Maute terrorists killed and 271 recovered firearms. On the government side, 56 are killed in action and 461 are wounded.
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