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Two more Marawi mosques remain in the hands of Maute —military


Only two more mosques remain in the hands of the ISIS-inspired Maute group in Marawi City, but government troops are confident they will be able to retake them in a week or two, GMA News' Jun Veneracion reported on 24 Oras on Friday.

The report said the Philippine flag was raised at the White Mosque on Friday morning, after it was retaken by the military from the terrorists after 130 days of fighting.

The mosque served as the Maute group's logistics area and was also the place where they hid their hostages, the report said.

"With the capture of the White Mosque this morning, we are now placing 'yung area na ginagawalan natin sa 300x300 or less. More or less 8 to 9 hectares, " said Lieutenant General Carlito Galvez, commander of the military's Western Mindanao Command.

"Ten to 15 days tapos na ito," he added, referring to the conflict in Marawi City that has been raging since May 23.

The report said the terrorists are already weakened by lack of food and ammunition, prompting three of them to surrender recently.

It added that the military believes in three days' time the defense of the Maute group in Marawi City can be considered negligible.

"Ladies and gentlemen, this is not the judgment day for them," Galvez said in a press briefing.

The report said 15 bodies of suspected terrorists were found near Bato Mosque, which has already been retaken by government soldiers, on Thursday. It was at the this mosque where the Maute group assembled their improvised explosive devices (IEDs).

Among the items seized from Bato Mosque were six sacks of coins. The military said coins were used as shrapnels by the terrorists for their IEDs.

"There have been instances already in the past where our troops have been hit by coins," said Colonel Romeo Brawner, deputy commander of Joint Task Force Ranao. —KBK, GMA News