A total of 242 Maute group members have been killed in the 26 days of fighting between the militants and government forces in Marawi City, the military said Sunday.
Col. Edgard Arevalo, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) public affairs chief, said that as of 6 p.m. on Saturday (June 17), a total of 243 firearms of the Maute group members have also been recovered by troops.
The number of civilians and troops killed as of Saturday was still at 26 and 59, respectively.
Arevalo also reported that the number civilians rescued by government troops and local government units has climbed to 1,636.
In his report, Arevalo said troops advancing to known positions of the Maute group in four of the 96 total villages in the besieged city are receiving less resistance from the militants.
"Enemy resistance continues to dwindle and enemy held areas continues to get smaller as troops advance," he said.
Arevalo said the main obstacle for the advancing troops were the Maute group's use of human shields and mosques as staging areas and save havens.
The military had said that it will continue air strikes in known lairs of the Maute group, but will not include mosques as targets.
Meanwhile, Arevalo said the military is already preparing for the rehabilitation and reconstruction of Marawi City.
He said the Combat Engineering Brigades from the Philippine Army and the Navy are ready for immediate deployment once clearing operations are complete.
Meanwhile, Arevalo announced that the AFP has opened bank accounts with the Land Bank of the Philippines where donations for the families of slain soldiers and displaced residents can be deposited.
Donations to the families of the slain soldiers can be deposited to:
Account Name: AFP Marawi Casualty
Account Number: 00000552107128
For the displaced residents of Marawi City, donations can be deposited to:
Account Name: Marawi IDP (Internally Displaced Persons)
Account Number: 00000552107136
Arevalo said the AFP will soon provide details of the amount of donations and disbursements for purposes of transparency. —Joseph Tristan Roxas/ALG, GMA News