MANILA — As government efforts to clear Marawi City of the remaining Maute Group terrorists reached its eighth day, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) announced that a total of 65 lawless elements were killed by military personnel conducting clearing operations.
This was disclosed by AFP spokesperson Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla in a message to the Philippine News Agency on Tuesday.
Figures are as of 6 p.m. of May 29.
Of the 65 Maute Group terrorists killed, around 42 were confirmed by body count and the remaining 23 through eye witness reports.
Government losses are placed at 20 and this can be broken down into 17 soldiers and three police officers.
Wounded are placed at 72 with 69 AFP and three Philippine National Police (PNP) personnel.
Padilla said number of rescued civilians is now at 560 while recovered firearms are placed at 5.
“(The AFP remains focused in) clearing of Marawi of militants still in the area. Rescue of trapped residents and recovery of civilian casualties, victims (are ongoing),” he added.
Fighting started when government security forces tried to arrest Abu Sayyaf leader Isnilon Hapilon, a known ally of the group and ISIS leader, last May 23.
“Precision airstrikes are judiciously used to prevent collateral damage and employed at specific targets of resistance to protect our troops and hasten clearing of the city of terrorist elements who continue to resist,” said Padilla.
“We call on the remaining terrorist to surrender while there is an opportunity,” he pointed out. PFN/PNA-northboundasia.com