Enemy snipers biggest threat in Marawi City fighting

MANILA-- Enemy snipers carefully concealed in Marawi City's buildings and other urban features are causing most of the casualties of military units tasked to neutralize the remaining Maute Group terrorists.

"(The fighting) in Marawi City can be considered as urban fighting and in urban warfare, snipers can cause a lot of casualties (as they can conceal themselves in the buildings and houses)," Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) public affairs office chief Col. Edgard Arevalo said in Filipino late Monday.

He added that a few snipers, placed in strategic locations, can slowdown or immobilize a company or even a battalion of troops.

"(If the conflict) is in the jungle, I believed we would have not incur such losses as we are used to fighting there," Arevalo stressed.

But he clarified that counter-sniping of the AFP is starting to bear fruit as Maute Group terrorists are now being encircled by military units.

As of 7 p.m. Sunday, number of troops wounded in the ongoing conflict in Marawi City is now at 852

This was offset by the number of lawless elements killed which is now placed at 411, the military added.

Troopers killed in action was placed at 97 along with 45 civilians.

Number of recovered firearms is placed at 511 while civilians rescued from the clutches of the terrorists is pegged at 1,723.

A soldier is also reported missing-in-action as of this time.

Fighting broke out in Marawi City after government troops tried to arrest Abu Sayyaf leader Isnilon Hapilon and ISIS "emir" in Southeast Asia last May 23.

Source: Philippine News Agency