MANILA— Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana on Monday said he expects clearing operations in Marawi City to be completed by June 1.
He added that the timetable started last May 25.
Lorenzana said the operations to clear Marawi City of terrorists is on track and that he regularly gets updates from the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).
Fighting in Marawi City started May 23 when military units conducted an operation after receiving reports that Abu Sayyaf leader Isnilon Hapilon, the group’s ally and ISIS head in the Philippines, was hiding in the locality.
As this develops, AFP spokesperson Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla said that military forces have full control of Marawi City.
“We are in full control, meaning to say we can control who comes in and who comes out, who moves around and who doesn’t. And we’re trying to isolate all these pockets of resistance that have remained,” he added.
As of this posting, Maute Group members killed in the ongoing operation are placed at 61 with 42 being confirmed through body count and another 19 by eye witness reports.
Government losses as of Sunday night are placed at 15 troopers killed along with three Philippine National Police (PNP) operatives.
Reported wounded as of this posting are 61 soldiers along with three policemen.
Number of civilians executed by the Maute Group are placed at 19, while those rescued are placed at 390, said Padilla.
Captured firearms are placed at 41 with 37 being high-powered ones and four low-powered.
“Clearing of Marawi City of militants and rescue of trapped civilians and recovery of civilian casualties and victims are the current focus of the ongoing operations,” he added.