DAMASCUS, SYRIA (10:00 P.M.) – Besieged ISIS insurgents are putting up a determined fight for Marawi, the provincial capital of Lanao Island in the southern Philipines, although jihadist belligerents have been contained in a downtown pocket of some 500 buildings stretching across four districts.
According to Lieutenant General Jo-Ar Herrera, six militants of the ISIS-linked Maute and Abu Sayyaf groups were killed during counter-insurgency efforts on Sunday alone. He added that an estimated 60 Islamic State fighters were still fighting, down from 500 when the battle initially began two months ago.
“We are gaining more ground. The rebel-held area is getting smaller. We are committed and focused to finish the job as soon as possible,” Herrera said.
On the other hand, Amaq Agency claimed 10 Philippine troops were killed on Tuesday alone, thus signifying the remaining jihadist rebels to be ready to fight to the last man.
With the battle soon entering its third month, some 511 firearms have been seized by government troops since the battle began while 1,723 residents have been rescued from ISIS-held residential areas according to a military source.