The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) on Tuesday, May 30, has issued a final warning to the remnants of the Maute Group who are occupying some areas in Marawi City to surrender or end up dead.
“If they want to preserve their lives, then they must surrender to military authorities at the soonest possible time,” AFP spokesperson Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla said.
According to Manila Bulletin, this was the challenge issued by Padilla; adding that failure of the Maute Group terrorists to surrender will mean their sure and certain death in the ongoing Marawi City clearing operations.
“We aired this message in the hope of ending this soon and reducing any more loss of lives and property,” he said.
Padilla expressed confidence government forces will defeat the Maute men who numbered around 100 when the clashes started Tuesday last week.
“We will come out victorious! We stand by the people of Marawi whose interests and safety we are protecting. For the terrorists, not surrendering will mean their sure death,” Padilla pointed out.
“(The AFP remains focused in) clearing of Marawi of militants still in the area. Rescue of trapped residents and recovery of civilian casualties, victims (are ongoing),” he added.
Padilla said the terrorists continue to put up resistance thus, precision air strikes continue.
As helicopters circled the lakeside city where smoke billowed out of some buildings, troops cleared rebel positions amid explosions and automatic gunfire, moving house by house and street by street.
As of 6 p.m. May 29, a total of 65 Maute Group terrorists were killed by military personnel engaged in the now eighth-day clearing operations.
Of the lawless elements killed, around 42 were confirmed by body count and the remaining 23 through eye witness reports.
Government losses are placed at 20 and this can be broken down into 17 soldiers and three police officers.
Wounded are placed at 72 with 69 AFP and three Philippine National Police personnel.
Padilla said number of rescued civilians are now at 560 while recovered firearms are placed at 5.
Nearly 85,000 displaced people are staying in 38 shelter areas outside Marawi.