Filipino troops battling final 30 IS linked gunmen

By on October 22, 2017


FILE: President Rodrigo Roa Duterte makes his fourth visit to the troops battling against the terrorists in Marawi City. This time, on September 11, 2017, the President went to the Grand Mosque which has been recently retaken by the government troops from the clutches of the terrorists Maute Group after three months of relentless skirmish. Joining the President were Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr., Presidential Adviser on Military Affairs Arthur Tabaquero, Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief of Staff General Eduardo Año, Philippine Army Chief Lt. Gen. Glorioso Miranda and Special Assistant to the President Christopher Lawrence Go. (PCOO photo)
FILE: President Rodrigo Roa Duterte makes his fourth visit to the troops battling against the terrorists in Marawi City. This time, on September 11, 2017, the President went to the Grand Mosque which has been recently retaken by the government troops from the clutches of the terrorists Maute Group after three months of relentless skirmish. Joining the President were Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr., Presidential Adviser on Military Affairs Arthur Tabaquero, Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief of Staff General Eduardo Año, Philippine Army Chief Lt. Gen. Glorioso Miranda and Special Assistant to the President Christopher Lawrence Go. (PCOO photo)

MANILA, Philippines— A Philippine military official says government forces are fighting the last batch of about 30 pro-Islamic State group militants who are surrounded in just one building with all their hostages gone as the nearly five-month siege nears its end in southern Marawi city.

Col. Romeo Brawner says troops are aiming to end the crisis before midnight Sunday, adding the remaining gunmen, who include some foreign militants, have the option of surrendering or they can either be captured or killed.

Brawner says a gradual withdrawal of military forces is continuing with the easing of the crisis, which has left at least 1,131 people dead, including 919 militants and 165 soldiers and policemen. He says troops continue to ask the gunmen to surrender although most are determined to die fighting.