405 Maute fight­ers dead in Marawi

Tempo - - Front Page - (Fran­cis T. Wake­field and Ge­na­lyn D. Ka­bil­ing)

The Armed Forces of the Philip­pines said yes­ter­day that 405 mem­bers of the Maute Group have been killed in the con­flict in Marawi City that started last May 23.

AFP Pub­lic Af­fairs Of­fice chief Col. Edgar Arevalo said 95 sol­diers and po­lice­men have been killed in the fight­ing while 503 firearms have been re­cov­ered by se­cu­rity forces from the mil­i­tants.

Forty five civil­ians have so far been killed in the fight­ing.

Clear­ing op­er­a­tions in four barangays in Marawi still oc­cu­pied by the Is­lamic State-in­spired mil­i­tants are still on­go­ing, ac­cord­ing to Arevalo.

Mean­while, the gov­ern­ment has ap­pealed to res­i­dents of Marawi to wait for the end of the hos­til­i­ties be­fore re­turn­ing to their com­mu­ni­ties for their own safety.

Pres­i­den­tial spokesman Ernesto Abella said the Palace un­der­stands the sen­ti­ment of the Marawi res­i­dents want­ing to re­turn home but warned them of “high” risk of ex­plo­sives and other traps left by ter­ror­ists in the area.

“For the safety of ev­ery­one, it is bet­ter to just wait for the end of hos­til­i­ties and the com­ple­tion of clear­ing op­er­a­tions,” Abella said.

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