Maute yields 5 more ca­su­al­ties

A day af­ter Pres. Duterte vis­its war-torn Marawi anew

Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro - - Front Page - By Divina M. Suson Cor­re­spon­dent

ILI­GAN CITY--The Maute group yielded five more ca­su­al­ties as military on Tues­day dawn re­cov­ered high-pow­ered firearms, in­clud­ing a Night Vi­sion Gog­gle (NVG), a day af­ter Pres­i­dent Ro­drigo Duterte vis­ited for the fourth time the main bat­tle area in Marawi City.

Lieu­tenant Colonel Jo-ar Her­rera, head of the Civil Military Op­er­a­tions of the 4th In­fantry Di­vi­sion, Philip­pine Army, said the Marines Spe­cial Op­er­a­tions Group un­der Joint Task Group Tiger en­gaged with the ISIS-in­spired Maute group in a 30-minute fire­fight.

“The heavy fire­fight killed at least five Maute com­bat­ants with four of them bod­ily counted. Two bod­ies were re­trieved while the other two were left on the site.

There was no ca­su­alty on the gov­ern­ment side,” Her­rera said in a state­ment.

Ma­jor Gen­eral Danilo Pa­monag, Com­man­der of Joint Spe­cial Op­er­a­tions Task Force Tri­dent, said the seam­less in­te­gra­tion of troops’ in­ter­op­er­abil­ity with their height­ened

morale in fight­ing the en­emy has re­sulted to the quick and de­lib­er­ate as­sault of en­emy po­si­tions.

“This ac­com­plish­ment shows that the en­emy’s hold in Marawi City is de­creas­ing day-by-day. It is only a mat­ter of time that the cri­sis will end,” Pa­monag said.

Last month, the Baloi Bridge, which was the strong­hold of the ter­ror­ist group was re­cap­tured by the gov­ern­ment sol­diers in ex­change of the 13 lives of the marines.

Days af­ter jour­nal­ists were per­mit­ted to get in­side Barangay Bubong Ma­daya, the barangay across the bridge which be­came the main bat­tle ground of the on­go­ing atroc­i­ties, the gov­ern­ment forces took con­trol of the Jameo Min­dano Al-Is­lamie pop­u­larly known as Is­lamic Cen­ter or Grand Mosque.

The mil­i­tants used this struc­ture as their con­trol and com­mand along with their civil­ian hostages.

“The troops’ fight­ing spirit is fur­ther boosted be­cause of the strong mo­ti­va­tion and en­cour­age­ment of the Com­man­der-in-Chief. The Pres­i­dent’s pres­ence in the main bat­tle area has left a mark in our troops in their strong de­sire to end the cri­sis in Marawi,” Joint Task Force Marawi Com­man­der Bri­gadier Gen­eral Rolly Bautista said.

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