MANILA — The recent recapture of the Bato Mosque and Amaitul Islamiya Marawi Foundation building in Marawi City has an enormous impact on the fighting capability of the remaining members of the Maute group.
“This recent development has an enormous impact on the (Maute group’s) position (in terms) of tactical and strategic positioning of their troops,” AFP Public Affairs Office chief, Col. Edgard Arevalo said late Tueday.
The two buildings, which were converted into defensive outposts by the terrorists, were recaptured by government troops over the weekend.
The said operation also resulted in the rescue of Father Chito Soganub and another hostage.
Aside from its strategic and tactical significance, the recapture of the Bato Mosque and the Amaitul Islamiya Marawi Foundation is a big blow against the morale of the remaining Maute terrorists, who could be demoralized and forced to surrender in the coming days.
As of this posting, number of slain Maute terrorists are placed at 673 along with 149 government troops killed.
Fighting in Marawi City broke out last May 23 after a failed effort to arrest Abu Sayyaf leader Isnilon Hapilon and his cohorts.
Number of civilians killed or executed by the lawless elements totaled to 47 while rescued Marawi City residents are placed at 1,730 and recovered firearms at 699.