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Drone shots show Maute group beefing up Marawi stronghold


There is an increase in stray bullet incidents in Marawi City, which could be an indication that the Maute group is beefing up its defenses against further government attacks.

Aerial footage shown on GMA 7 news program "24 Oras" on Wednesday caught how Maute group members used pieces of wood and GI sheets to fortify their stronghold to protect themselves from advacing government troops.

GMA News' Marisol Abdurahman on her exclusive report said video clips shot last month showed presumed members of the pro-ISIS terror group running from one building to the next while they were bombed by government planes.

A seperate clip taken earlier this month showed individuals unloading lumber and GI sheets from a black vehicle.

The shots indicated that the millitants have the resources to fortify their remaining strongholds, military sources said.

Gunfire could be heard throughout the footage due to the group members' efforts to shoot down the drones.

"More buildings are being cleared, dumadami ang mga firearms na ating nare-recover," Joint Task Force Marawi spokesman Jo-Ar Herrera said.

"And even 'yung mga IEDs (improvised explosive devices) na mga bomba na nakikita sa bawat daanan, bawat building, it's a matter of time, matatapos natin ito," the spokesman added.

The military noted there are heightened efforts of the Maute group to defend themselves in the remaining areas that are under their control.

"Even in the Capitol, nararamdaman natin ngayong intense fire fight, kaya sinasabi natin sa mga tao rito and also the media to...pumunta sa isang ligtas na lugar," Herrera said.

Since the conflict started in May 23, more than 400 members of the ISIS-inspired Maute group have been killed.

With the conflict nearing its 60-day timeline, President Rodrigo Duterte has said he would like to extend the period of the imposition of martial law over Mindanao until the end of the year. — Margaret Claire Layug/BAP, GMA News

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