Some Marawi ter­ror­ist sent sur­ren­der feel­ers

MIL­I­TARY CLAIMS

Cebu Daily News - - ISLANDS - /IN­QUIRER.NET

MARAWI CITY — Some of the ter­ror­ists fight­ing gov­ern­ment troops here since May 23 have sent sur­ren­der feel­ers fol­low­ing mil­i­tary ef­forts to con­vince them to yield through public ad­dress sys­tems, text mes­sages and even so­cial me­dia, ac­cord­ing to Col. Romeo Brawner Jr., the deputy com­man­der of Joint Task Force Marawi.

Brawner told the In­quirer on Satur­day that some Maute gun­men re­sponded to the mil­i­tary’s ap­peal on Fri­day.

Brawner clar­i­fied, how­ever, that those who in­tended to yield were only fol­low­ers of the Maute broth­ers and Is­nilon Hapi­lon. None of the lead­ers of the nearly four-month siege had sig­ni­fied their in­ten­tion to sur­ren­der, he added.

“We have so far re­ceived feel­ers from their mem­bers. (They) wanted to sur­ren­der,” he said.

Brawner said the mil­i­tary had re­sponded that the gun­men should also re­lease their hostages — the ex­act num­ber of whom had not been de­ter­mined.

“We are also try­ing to con­vince them to re­lease their hostages — if not all the hostages, just the women in­side the main bat­tle area,” he said.

Brawner did not say how many gun­men had in­tended to sur­ren­der. But he noted that the feel­ers also came as the mil­i­tary in­ten­si­fied its as­sault as it aimed to end the cri­sis, which had so far re­sulted in the death of 149 mil­i­tary troops and po­lice of­fi­cers, 47 civil­ians and 668 ex­trem­ists.

Of the to­tal en­emy fa­tal­i­ties, 161 were ac­tual body counts, while 507 were “con­firmed sniper kills.”

On Fri­day, De­fense Sec­re­tary Delfin Loren­zana said that sol­diers were close to re­tak­ing the en­tire city, but he de­clined to give a def­i­nite time­line.

“There’s only lit­tle re­sis­tance left,” he said. “This is just one-half vil­lage wide. That’s why I’ve been told by ground com­man­ders that the end is near. Just a lit­tle more pa­tience.”

US-trained Filipino troops were among those mo­bi­lized as the mil­i­tary made its fi­nal push against the ex­trem­ists.

Equipped with smart night vi­sion gog­gles, a team of US-trained marines would care­fully move in the dark in search of the gun­men.

BRAWNER

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