AFP: 80 terrorists still occupying high-rise buildings in Marawi

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(CNN Philippines, July 8) - At least 80 terrorists are still occupying strategic buildings in downtown Marawi, the military said Saturday.

"The remaining local terrorists [are] more or less around 80 and they still occupy vantage positions," Joint Task Force Marawi spokesperson Lt. Col. Jo-ar Herrera said in a press briefing.

He said government airstrikes target terrorist snipers positioned in these areas.

"We intend also to protect our soldiers who are relentlessly moving towards the center of gravity," Herrera said.

Authorities have yet to clear around 800 buildings in the war-torn city, Herrera said.

They are on the lookout for improvised explosive devices (IEDs), booby traps, and bombs that the terrorists left behind.

Local and foreign terrorists composed mainly of the ISIS-linked Maute group are also holed up in mosques, holding an undetermined number of hostages.

Related: What is the Maute Group?

The military said 366 terrorists, 87 government troops and 39 civilians were killed in Marawi as of Saturday, more than a month since the siege started.

Injured Maute

Among the casualties on the enemy side, a suspected Maute fighter who was being treated at the Amai Pakpak Medical Center, tried to escape the hospital on Friday morning.

Sources knowledgeable about the incident who refused to be named told CNN Philippines the suspect left the hospital Friday morning and was found inside a house behind the hospital in the afternoon.

The suspect was brought to the hospital Wednesday morning after sustaining a gunshot wound to his throat.

Herrera said he has yet to get details on that particular incident.

 

CNN Philippines' Gerg Cahiles reported from Marawi City.