MANILA, Philippines —Twenty more members of the ISIS-inspired Maute terrorist group have been killed by the government forces since Wednesday night until early Thursday morning.
In a statement, AFP Chief of Staff Eduardo Año said that 13 were Wednesday night and seven more were slain on Thursday morning in the continuing military pursuit against the terrorists.
The government also confirmed the intelligence report that among those killed was Dr. Mammud Ahmad, the financier who purportedly took over the leadership of the group following the death of Isnilon Hapilon and Omar Maute.
This is based on a statement by one of the rescued hostages, saying that as soon as he was found dead, Mammud was buried Wednesday night.
The military is now searching for Mammud’s remains and the burial site.
Año added that seven more hostages have been freed, including a mother and her daughter who got injured but is now out of danger.
Meanwhile, six soldiers were wounded but are now in better condition.
With this data, the military believes that the number of hostages remaining with the terrorists has now gone down to 20.
Gen. Ano stressed that the military is still in high morale, so is their desire to end the crisis in Marawi City.
In total, the number of fatalities from the terrorists’ side is now at 850, and 163 from the government forces. — Lea Ylagan | UNTV News & Rescue