MANILA-- Aside from clearing the remaining Maute Group remnants in Marawi City, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) on Wednesday announced that part of the ongoing operations is involved at clearing and removing improvised explosive devices (IEDs), landmines and unexploded ordnance in the locality.
This is to ensure that no civilians will be hurt nor killed once residents started returning in order to rebuild their city, AFP public affairs office chief Col. Edgard Arevalo said.
"When we say clearing operations, it does not only involved flushing the remaining Maute Group members, this includes removal of IEDs, landmines, and unexploded ordnance. This will take a while to ensure that no injury nor death will be inflicted to returning civilians," he said in Filipino.
Arevalo declined to give an exact timeline or deadline in neutralizing the remaining Maute Group terrorists but stressed that this will not take much more time.
In the fourth week of the conflict which started May 23, a total of 258 Maute Group terrorists have been killed along with 65 troops and police officers along with 26 civilians.
Also, AFP spokesperson Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla earlier said that a total of 16 buildings, formally occupied by the lawless elements, have been captured in the past few days.
However, he declined to comment on how many buildings are needed to be captured to ensure the total elimination of the lawless band in Marawi City.
"Enemy resistance continues to wane and the enemy held areas continue to diminish as government security forces press its advance...Troops continue to get deeper innto once enemy held positions," the AFP spokesperson pointed out.
Fighting as of this posting are still confined in four barangays, adding that the use of snipers, improvised explosive devices and rocket-propelled grenades are slowing down the progress of military personnel engaged in clearing operations.
Source: Philippines News Agency