AFP told: Wipe out Maute

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PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte on Monday ordered the Armed Forces of the Philippines to continue attacking the terrorist Maute group until it is wiped out.

“I am commending our troops… on the ground for your relentless effort and determination in our goal to retake the city of Marawi from the Maute group and the other local terrorist groups,” said Duterte in a message delivered from Malacañang Monday night.

“I enjoin the operating troops to carry on until our objective of wiping out these enemies of the state and the people has been achieved,” said the President.

“I urge you to remain steadfast and alert as martial law in Mindanao will remain in effect to counter the persistent threat of terrorism and insurgency,” he said.

Duterte said the people of Marawi will also need the AFP’s assistance as they rebuild their lives and homes once the military operations come to a conclusion.

“By fulfilling this, we must not let our guard down against the emergence of terrorism and banditry in the area,” said Duterte.

“Let us also honor and remember our fallen comrades. May their courage and bravery remind us of the sacrifices asked of us as we go about the task of building a peaceful nation,” he said.

GRIM REAPER. Soldiers carry a body pouch containing the body of an unidentified colleague killed in action Monday during fighting between government troops and Islamist militants in Marawi City where gunmen from the latter still control about 1,500 buildings following weeks of ferocious fighting that has left hundreds dead. AFP

He said the government has assured all the wounded and all the bereaved families that their needs will be attended to. “The nation will never neglect the heroes of our republic,” Duterte said.

“Let us all continue to strive to build a stable, orderly, and progressive society, continue to work to make our shared dream a genuine and lasting peace a reality, continue to serve our country and the Filipinos,” the President said.

On Tuesday, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said Australian help by way of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance flight started on June 30.

An AP-3C Orion surveillance plane began flying Friday and will be here for two weeks, Loenzana said.

Earlier, the Australian Defense Forces pledged the use of two AP-3Cs to help the Philippines in its ongoing anti-terror operations in Marawi City. With PNA

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