MANILA-- Military engineering equipment and personnel are now being deployed to Marawi City to help in the rehabilitation of areas devastated by the ongoing conflict with Maute Group terrorists, said Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) spokesperson Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla on Tuesday.
This deployment is based on an earlier order by AFP chief-of-staff Gen. Eduardo AAo, he added.
Military engineering units and personnel will help other government agencies in the proposed rehabilitation once the last Maute Group terrorists is neutralized or driven away.
"They are preparing (engineering units) already. In fact, there are already engineering personnel in the area... They are slowly building up (personnel and assets)... They are readying for the rehab," Padilla pointed out.
However, the AFP spokesperson cannot give exact figures for engineering equipment and personnel already in Marawi City but added that the military is planning to deploy at least two engineering battalions.
In the fourth week of the conflict which started May 23, a total of 258 Maute Group terrorists have been killed along with 65 troops and police officers, and 26 civilians.
Also, Padilla said a total of 16 buildings, formally occupied by the lawless elements, have been captured in the past few days.
However, he declined to comment on how many buildings are needed to be captured to ensure the total elimination of the lawless bandits in Marawi City.
"Enemy resistance continues to wane and the enemy held areas continue to diminish as government security forces press its advance... Troops continue to get deeper into once enemy held positions," the AFP spokesperson pointed out.
Fighting as of this posting are still confined in four barangays, adding that the use of snipers, improvised explosive devices and rocket-propelled grenades are slowing down the progress of military personnel engaged in clearing operations.
Source: Philippines News Agency