By Philippine News Agency
COTABATO CITY – The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) said it is validating a report that the founding leaders of the Maute terrorist group, Omar and Mhade Maute, were killed in the ongoing military offensives in Marawi City.
“We are validating this information but that is the report,” Lt. Col. Jo-Ar Herrera, Joint Task Force Marawi spokesperson, said in a news conference Saturday afternoon.
Herrera also said the local government of Masiu and civilians helped in the arrest of Farhana Maute, mother of the Maute siblings Friday night.
Thirteen more Philippine Marine commandos, including a junior officer who led the operation that led to the confiscation of some P80 million cash and checks from a suspected
Maute safehouse, were killed in the continuing gun battle to retake Marawi City from the Maute Group.
One of those killed was 1Lt. Frederick Savellano, who led the assault on a Maute stronghold where the sizable amount of cash and checks were seized.
“We salute this enormous display of heroism and raw courge of these fallen Marines in the course of the fight to clear Marawi of the remaining members of the Maute-ISIS Group,” AFP spokesperosn Col. Edgar Arevalo.
To date, a total of 58 government forces have been killed in the operation against the Maute terrorist group.
“We are on the offensive mode, we are constantly moving toward the position of the enemies, unfortunately we incurred several casualties, we are doing our best to re-strategize,” Herrera said.
“The enemy has strong defensive positions, maximized presence of high structure buildings and civilian hostages used as human shields,” he added.
“We are making adjustments in our offensives,” he said, adding that air strikes were effective in the operations.
“We hit the logistical hubs, several command and control and communications and snipers’ nest of Maute,” Herrera said.
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