MANILA, -- Three ranking terrorists leaders, who plotted the attack against Marawi City, are still in the locality, the military said Monday.
This was confirmed by Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) public affairs office chief, Col. Edgard Arevalo, who said that latest monitoring indicated that Abu Sayyaf leader Isnilon Hapilon, and Omar and Abdullah Maute, the alleged leaders of the Maute Group terrorists, are still inside the city.
"Yes for the record, our monitoring shows that they are still in Marawi City. This can be considered a piece of good news as the people who instigated the fighting and the subsequent destruction are still inside and we hope that we will be able to neutralize them (soon)," he said in Filipino.
But Arevalo declined to comment on where these terrorist leaders are right now for security and operational reasons.
As of this posting, killed Maute Group elements are placed at 562 along with 128 troops while 45 civilians were executed. Firearms recovered were estimated at 619 along with 11 improvised explosive devices, while 1,728 civilians were rescued from the hands of the enemy.
Source: Philippine News Agency