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Maute’s Big 3 hang on to shrinking territory inside Marawi City

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The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) said the remaining Maute Group terrorists have been limited to a one square kilometer area in Marawi City.

“We are firm in ending this rebellion in Marawi, and we are going to exert all efforts within the limits and bounds of the law, (and existing rules of engagement) to get the remnants of the Daesh (another name for ISIS)-inspired Maute Group,” AFP public affairs office chief Edgard Arevalo said in an interview with reporters on Tuesday.

Surviving Maute Group terrorists are estimated to be around 40 to 60 as their numbers continue to be whittled down by pursuing government troops since fighting started last May 23.

Based on the military’s latest monitoring, Abu Sayyaf leader Isnilon Hapilon, Omar and Abdullah Maute, the three ranking leaders of the terror group, were still inside the city.

But Arevalo declined to comment on where these terrorist leaders are located for security and operational reasons.

As of Aug. 13, there are 562 Maute Group elements killed along with 128 troops and 45 civilians executed.

619 firearms have been recovered along with 11 improvised explosive devices and 1,728 civilians rescued from the hands of the enemy. (PNA)

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