End is near? Military cuts Maute’s last holdout in Marawi to 5 hectares

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Maute group-controlled areas in Marawi City have shrunk to an estimated five hectares, down from eight last week, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) spokesperson, Maj. Gen. Restituto Padilla, said late Wednesday.

“We have reduced the area controlled by them [Maute group]. From eight hectares, it is now down to an estimated five hectares,” Padilla said.

In the five hectares remaining under Maute control, only about 150 buildings and structures need to be cleared, he said, adding that he hopes that clearing operations would not take long.

As of this posting, remaining Maute Group terrorists are estimated at 38 to 40 after the military neutralized at 802.

Military and police personnel killed since fighting in Marawi City broke out last May 23 are estimated at 160, rescued hostages at 1,750, and those still held in captivity at 42. (PNA)