By Francis T. Wakefield
The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) yesterday said that the number of Isis-inspired Maute Group terrorists killed in the ongoing battle inside Marawi City continued to increase following the death of another enemy.
According to AFP spokesman Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla, another Maute Group fighter was killed in the battle over the weekend, bringing the total to 523.
The total number of firearms seized or recovered from the enemy also increased and its now already 602.
Five more buildings in two barangays have been cleared by troops, who continue to “push foraward” in efforts of finally clearing the city of the terrorist.
The Marawi siege is already on its 76th day.
Padilla, meanwhile, said that an additional three more soldiers were added to the list of fatalities on the government side, bringing the number to 125 as of 7 p.m. Saturday.
He added that based on information provided by the AFP’s Joint Task Force Marawi, the terrorists are still holding at least 100 hostages. Men and women hostages were also reportedy separated by the enemy.
“That’s the information we have received on the ground,” Padilla said as he also disclosed that “troops are slowly moving, inch-by-inch, to avoid enemy fire and bombs, IEDs (improvised explosive devices), and booby traps set-up by the Maute Group.”