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    Maute terrorists in Marawi City, weakening in force – AFP

    by UNTV   |   Posted on Wednesday, September 6th, 2017

    MANILA, Philippines —  The Maute terrorist group is now starting to weaken.

    Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) spokesperson BGen. Restituto Padilla explained one indication of this is the military’s recent success in pushing through previous strongholds of the terrorists like the bridges in Mapandi and Bangolo.

    “They were not able to protect their controlled area that’s why their strongholds are declining. If they remain strong, the government would not have pushed through their strongholds,” said Padilla.

    In line with this, government troops continue to advance to the hideout of the Maute terrorist group.

    However, the AFP said the terrorists are now careful and are using traps and improvised explosive devices (IEDs).

    Maute snipers and civilian hostages also hinder the government’s offensive against the terrorists.

    “The intense firefight hinders our efforts to advance, to enter the area. These hindrances also include their use of IEDs, and snipers and other such tactics,” said the AFP spokesperson.

    Padilla said the rebellion in Marawi City is now on its 107th day.

    Although this has been the longest battle the soldiers have faced, the military is confident that the crisis in the city is already coming to an end.

    “We are trying to end this clashes at the soonest possible time because what we want is to totally liberate the city of Marawi so that its residents could go back to their normal lives,” said Padilla.

    As of current, the number of fatalities on the part of the government is at 145, while 649 were killed on the part of the Maute terrorist group. — Lea Ylagan | UNTV News & Rescue

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    AFP considers end of hostilities in Marawi City

    by UNTV   |   Posted on Friday, October 20th, 2017

    MANILA, Philippines — Armed Forces of the Philippines Public Affairs Office (AFP-PAO) chief Col. Edgard Arevalo is confident that the hostilities in Marawi City have ended, now that all the leaders of the Maute terror group have already died and they no longer have an organizational structure, war can be considered over.

    “Yes, we can say that the crisis in Marawi is over,” said Col. Arevalo.

    He added that the remaining Maute fighters holed up in the city are now in hiding, while the others have mixed in with the rescued hostages.

    “That’s what we are doing. We are physically going after them, and to rescue the remaining hostages,” said the official.

    Meanwhile, the military has yet to find the area where the remains of Malaysian terrorist Dr. Mahmud Ahmad is buried. The former university lecturer was the alleged financier of the  Maute terror group.

    According to AFP Chief of Staff Gen. Eduardo Año, the military can find the remains of Ahmad once they locate the person who buried him.

    “We have to find the right people that buried him. There’s an ongoing assault now, later on, we are able to capture some Maute fighters. He can be the one who can reveal where Dr. Mahmud was buried,” said Gen. Año.

    Año also noted that they are now conducting an assessment of the rescued hostages as many Maute fighters have mixed in with them to avoid being captured by the military. — Lea Ylagan | UNTV News & Rescue


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    Declaration of liberation in Marawi, premature – peace & security expert

    by UNTV   |   Posted on Friday, October 20th, 2017


    MANILA, Philippines — Although the battle is not yet over, President Rodrigo Duterte decided to declare on Tuesday the liberation of Marawi City from the influence of terrorists.

    This was after government troops killed terrorist leaders Isnilon Hapilon and Omar Maute.

    “I hereby declare Marawi City liberated from the terrorist influence that marks the beginning of rehabilitation. Huwag na natin itong ulitin kailanman (Let us not have a repeat of this ever),” said President Duterte.

    But for peace and security expert Prof. Rommel Banloi, it is still early to say that Marawi City is already terror-free.

    “The liberation of Marawi was declared considering the fact that the clearing operations in areas of Marawi City are ongoing, fights are still happening. In fact, as we speak now, the battle is continuing,” said the expert.

    One proof he said are the many residents who still cannot go back to their homes. Their situation has not changed, as well.

    It is also possible that President Duterte, in haste, declared the liberation of Marawi City after the military failed to miss the deadline several times.

    “The government may have been forced to declare liberation, though its premature because that kind of situation has been anticipated for a long time,” said the professor.

    Malacañang respects the statement of Banlaoi.

    However, the palace said that the declaration of the President is a strategic message.

    The government also believes the recovery of the city can now proceed.

    “As it has been reported and announced, this was a strategic message and technically the leadership has been neutralized and whatever forces that are left are non-significant. And it has been referred to should be a matter of police enforcement, so from the perspective of the government. Everything is aligned and on the road to recovery,” said Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella.  — Rosalie Coz | UNTV News and Rescue

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    20 more terrorists killed in latest encounter in Marawi City

    by UNTV   |   Posted on Friday, October 20th, 2017


    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



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