A military spokesperson reports that the government’s forces have recouped control over at least 54 establishments in Marawi City that has been occupied by the Islamic State-linked Maute group as the clashes in the city entered its 51st day.
Joint Task Force Marawi spokesperson Lt. Col. Jo-ar Herrera statedthat they are continuously conducting combat clearing operations and that there are still portions of the main area that are being turned into defensive positions.
He said in earlier statements that 800 buildings were yet to be cleared in Marawi, those of which are believed to be where the Maute members and snipers are based. Herrera added that more or less 80 Maute members were in Marawi.
Air strikes have been conducted by the military in the area to flush out the militants occupying the buildings in the city’s business district.
Herrera then stated in the interview that Abdullah Maute prevails to in command of the remaing Maute members. However, they are yet to confirm Isnilon Hapilon’s location. Hapilon is the appointed ‘emir’ of ISIS in Asia.