AFP expects no drastic moves from Maute group after patriarch's death

Bruno Cirelli
Agosto 29, 2017

More than 700 people, including 130 soldiers, have been killed since the militants, aided by foreign fighters from Indonesia, Malaysia and the Middle East, seized control of city of 200,000.

"At 5 in the morning (on Monday) upon searching the area, our troops were able to recover five dead bodies of the enemy, one M16 rifle and a motorized pumpboat", Petinglay said.

"Let this be a warning to those who have the intention to escape and to enter (Marawi), our troops are ready for you".

Aside from the forces in Marawi, various Muslim outlaw bands are scattered throughout the strife-torn southern Philippines, engaged in kidnappings for ransom, banditry and Islamic separatist guerrilla activities.

These included, Lorenzana said, the recapture on Thursday of the Marawi central police headquarters followed on Friday by that of the Grand Mosque where the terrorists had holed up along with their hostages including a Catholic priest.

At least 10 local terrorists on their way to assist their cohorts in the besieged city of Marawi were slain in a three-hour gunbattle with government forces, featuring a boat chase in Lake Lanao, the military reported on Monday.

But their use of improvised explosives and booby traps as well as the difficulty of urban combat has slowed down the military's progress.

This was stressed on Monday by AFP Chief of Staff Gen. Eduardo Año. "We see this as a weakening of their resistance", Galvez said.

The father of the leaders of the pro-Islamic State Maute group that seized control of a southern Philippine town in May died while in government custody, authorities said on Sunday.

The extent of his involvement in the group is not immediately clear but when he was arrested in June, a military spokesman expressed hope he could persuade his sons to stop fighting and surrender.

President Rodrigo "Rody" Duterte has appointed Lorenzana as the administrator of martial law which he imposed over the whole of troubled Mindanao when the terrorists laid siege to Marawi on May 23.

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