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Maute plans to raise ISIS flags at Lanao capitol, Marawi city hall to declare 'wilayat'

A military official on Saturday said the Maute group's main objective is to raise an ISIS flag at the provincial capitol of Lanao del Sur in Marawi City and declare a "wilayat."

"Magtayo ng bandila dito sa flagpole ng kapitolyo at ng Marawi City [hall compound]," Lt. Gen. Carlito Galvez, commanding general of the Armed Forces' Western Mindanao Command (Wesmincom) said in a press conference.

Galvez said raising flags at the city hall and the capitol compounds are the only missing factors for the the Maute group to declare a "wilayat"  or a provincial ISIS territory.

"Iyon na lang ang kailangan para magkaroon sila ng wilayat para magkaroon sila ng suporta galing sa Syria," the military official said.

Galvez on Saturday said that clearing operations around the city are ongoing.

"Wala pong pinipili ang mga kalaban natin. Inaakyat nila ang mga bahay," he said.

Military spokesperson Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla said in a statement that the remaining Maute group members in the city have been holding out in homes, government buildings and several private structures.

Padilla said airstrike are also being launched in some parts of the city where Maute group members are believed to be holed up.

A report by Jiggy Manicad on GMA News' 24 Oras on Saturday said that troops have resorted to door-to-door inspections to clear the city of Maute group members.

A separate report by Jun Veneracion said that the government has also deployed snipers to counter the snipers of the Maute group hiding in buldings in the besieged city.

The Maute group, reportedly reinforced by members of the Abu Sayyaf group and the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters, launch attacks in Marawi City on Tuesday, killing several civilians and setting fire on a Catholic church, schools and the city jail.

The attack has prompted President Rodrigo Duterte to place the entire Mindanao under martial law.

Lanao del Sur Vice Governor Mamintal Adiong said that all city residents want to leave.

"Lahat gusto nang umalis sa Marawi City," Adiong said.

Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao executive secretary Laisa Alamia told radio dzBB earlier that 90 percent of the city's total population of 201,700 have already left.

She said more than 1,000 residents were still inside the city as of Saturday morning. —ALG, GMA News