MANILA—Ongoing clearing operations has so far resulted in the death of 13 Maute Group members, allied with Abu Sayyaf leader Isnilon Hapilon, who clashed with military units in Marawi City, Lanao Del Sur on Tuesday.
This was confirmed by Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) public affairs office chief Col. Edgard Arevalo in briefing Wednesday night.
Of the 13 Maute members killed by government troops, two bodies were recovered and being identified.
On the part of the military, Arevalo said five died in action and 31 were wounded as of this posting.
He said the AFP has already cleared the Amai Pakpak Hospital, Marawi City Hall and Mindanao State University compounds of Maute Group presence.
Arevalo said he has no specific information on the remaining areas still to be cleared.
He said that Western Mindanao Command chief, Lt. Gen. Carlito Galvez, announced that it needs two to three days to completely clear Marawi City of snipers and improvised explosive devices placed by the lawless group.
“We need to be very cautious in dealing with such threats,” he said.
Arevalo said the AFP has estimated the number of Maute Group members involved in the Marawi City incident between 50 to 80.
The clash between Maute Group members started around 2:00 p.m. Tuesday at Barangay Basak, Malutlut when government security forces learned of the presence of Hapilon and his cohorts.
Hapilon was reported severely wounded in the series of military operations in Lanao Del Sur in early January.
The former is reportedly the representative of the ISIS terror group in the Philippines.