MANILA— The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) announced that its units, aimed at dislodging Maute Group terrorists in Marawi City, Lanao City, has so far killed 61 militants.
This was disclosed by AFP spokesperson Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla in a message to the PNA Sunday.
Figures are as of May 23 to 26, he added.
Of the 61 slain Maute Group members, 42 are confirmed through body count with the other 19 being reported by witnesses.
Government losses as of this posting are 11 troopers dead along with four police officers and 39 others wounded.
Civilians executed by the terrorists are placed at 19 as of this time.
“The AFP focus continues on safely clearing Marawi of terrorist elements still holed up within pockets of the city. Priority of ongoing military action is likewise aimed at aiding residents who are still trapped in the city’s interiors. Significantly, we have successfully rescued and assisted 124 trapped civilian residents since the start of the operations,” Padilla stressed.
Precision airstrikes and artillery fire will likewise continue at specific targets to hasten the clearing operations, the AFP spokesperson added.
Troops on the ground also recovered 24 high-powered firearms during the last 24 hours of military operations.
“The AFP and the PNP also belies reports of checkpoints being conducted by uniformed elements without badges or identifications. Checkpoints follow strict protocols and are strictly complied with. These reports if true, may be of unauthorized armed elements and should be discretely documented and reported. We have issued orders to our forces to ascertain these reports and deal with it,” Padilla pointed out.
“Our forces are working overtime to hasten the restoration of the rule of law and Marawi’s return to normalcy. We can only do this if we have the full cooperation of our citizens in these affected areas. We count on everyone to unite as one nation and do their patriotic duty for the restoration of peace in our country,” he further disclosed.