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AFP to miss Friday deadline in ridding Marawi of ISIS-Maute threat

The military could not free Marawi City of ISIS-linked Maute group bandits by Friday as defense officials told senators earlier this week, the Armed Forces of the Philippines has said.

AFP spokesman Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla pointed to the bandits' use of hostages to protect their ranks.

“Compounding the situation on the ground is the use of these forces, these armed elements of children and civilians as human shields,” Padilla said at a news briefing.

Padilla said terrorists continued to occupy commercial buildings. He added they had also turned madrasahs as staging areas and the mosque as sniper nest.

“We continue to apply commensurate military power on these existing threats and pockets of resistance and will continue to do so including the use of airstrike,” Padilla said.

Padilla stressed that that the goal of the military offensives remain to clear Marawi from armed elements, rescue trapped residents, recover civilian victims and other potential casualties, and assist local government units as well as civil and non-government organizations conducting relief operations.

Padilla earlier this week told reporters after a four-hour closed-door executive session with senators that the military committed to accomplish the mission in Marawi City in the “fastest” way possible.

Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan said they were told by Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana that the situation would normalize by the end of the week.

“Sinasabi ng secretary of National Defense na they are looking at being able to normalize the situation by Friday, by this week,” Pangilinan said.

Padilla on Friday also announced that the troops have killed 120 ISIS-linked Maute members in Marawi City as the clashes continue on the 11th day of the martial law declaration in Mindanao.  

He said 90 were confirmed by body count, while 30 were confirmed by eyewitnesses, as of 6 p.m. on June 1.

“There are still unofficial reports that are trickling in that have not been included in this number,” Padilla said.

For the government side, the number of soldiers killed swelled to 36 including the 10 killed in misfire incident. But Padilla is yet to confirm the number of wounded soldiers.

Civilians killed remained at 19, but those rescued reached 1,024.


Recovered firearms, meanwhile, is at 98.

 —NB, GMA News