MANILA — Clearing operations in Marawi City are still ongoing despite the estimated 300 hostages being held by Maute Group terrorists.
This clarification was issued by Armed Forces of Philippines (AFP) spokesperson Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla when sought for a comment on alleged orders stopping military operations in a bid to spare the lives of the hostages.
“We would like to issue a clarification, what President Rodrigo Duterte’s guidance was to go on with the clearing operation but with measures that will preserve the lives of the hostages,” he said in Filipino.
As of this posting, Maute Group remnants are pocketed in a less than square-kilometer area in Marawi City.
Terrorists killed in the conflict, which started May 23, is now at 460, along with 111 government troops and 45 civilians executed.
These figures are as of 7 p.m. Tuesday.
Remaining Maute Group terrorists are placed at 80 to 100. Priam Nepomuceno/PNA-northboundasia.com