163 more Civilians rescued by troops as clearing operations continue in Marawi

    Headquarters Western Mindanao Command, Camp Navarro, Calarian, Zamboanga City - May 29, 2017 As government forces continue to clear Marawi City of the terror brought by the Maute, 163 civilians were rescued in two barangays of the City yesterday (May 29).

    At 10:20 in the morning, a heavy armed engagement ensued as troops tried to get into the Lanao Del Sur Electric Company (LASURECO) Incorporated in Brgy Gadungan, Marawi City. According to a text message coming from one of the trapped civilians, they were in one of the buildings of LASURECO and were held hostage by about 30 terrorist for two days already. When the fighting subsided, 22 civilians were rescued and escorted by troops to safety. In another area of Brgy Gadungan, soldiers were able to rescue 20 more civilians hiding in one of the buildings. At 2:30 in the afternoon, troops engaged in a firefight with some terrorists at Brgy Marinaut, Marawi City, recovering four M4 carbine rifles and one M203 left by the fleeing terrorists. Meanwhile, troops reaching Brgy Saber, were able to rescue 121 civilians whose safe passage towards the Provincial Capitol was immediately facilitated. Clearing operations continue in some parts of the City. Soldiers are searching for terrorist inch by inch, making sure that they are not hiding in houses. After seven days of fighting, 65 Maute members were killed with 42 bodies recovered by troops and 23 others confirmed by eye witnesses. 55 firearms were recovered, 51 high powered and 4 low powered. 19 dead bodies of civilians mercilessly killed by the terrorist were recovered in the different areas of the City. "Our focus as of the moment is to clear Marawi of militants, to rescue trapped civilians and to recover civilian casualties and victims in the fastest means possible," says Brigadier General Rolando Bautista, Commander of the Joint Task Force Marawi. "Yesterday, we were able to safely extricate 163 civilians from the dangers of the terror," he added. As of this report, 560 civilians were rescued by soldiers and policemen. “Despite numerous attempts to reach out to the Maute, they refuse to have a stand down in order to evacuate trapped civilians thus, the need to be very careful and to make calculated actions is very important for your armed forces as of the moment in order to avoid collateral damage and loss of life from among the innocent civilians," says Lieutenant General Carlito G Galvez, Jr, Commander of the Western Mindanao Command. “In doing so, we are sad to report to the Filipino people that 20 of your soldiers made the ultimate sacrifice and more than 50 were wounded.” "We ask for support and understanding from the people affected. We are giving our best effort to get all terrorist the soonest," says Lieutenant General Galvez.