MANILA-- The recapture of Dansalan College from the hands of the Maute Group terrorists early this week means that lawless elements are now losing their grip on Marawi City.
This is because the school, which was captured by the terrorists early in the May 23 attack, is located in an elevated area and overlooks the surrounding areas making it ideal for sniper nests.
"Dansalan College is a strategic area (as) it sits on an elevated area and has a good vantage point and it has a lot of (well built and tall) buildings that are defensible (thus making its recapture a neccesity in the ongoing campaign)," Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) spokesperson Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla during Wednesday's "Mindanao Hour" briefing.
He added that troops tasked for its recapture make careful preparations for its recapture as its strategic location made it very difficult for attacking troops to sneak in unseen.
However, efforts of government troops proved successful as they were able capture the facility and recover a .50 caliber machine gun and 14 other high-powered weapons aside from seeing the remains three fallen Maute Group terrorists.
Efforts are ongoing to clear the various buildings of possible improvised explosive devices and mines laid by the beaten enemy.
"Initially, they said it was (the) remains or that could be the remains of the foreign fighters and allegedly a Singaporean but we don't have yet enough proof to validate the information and we're working to do that along with the police," Padilla stressed.
As of Wednesday, the number of terrorists killed is placed at 343 along with 85 government troops and 44 civilians executed.
Number of captured firearms is placed at 420 and rescued civilians at 1,722.
Source: Philippines News Agency