Military rescues more Maute hostages

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Marawi City (CNN Philippines, October 20) - Government forces have rescued 10 hostages here, authorities said on Friday.

Armed Forces of the Philippines Western Mindanao Command (WesMinCom) Chief Lieutenant General Carlito Galvez said six children and four women hostages were rescued on Thursday.

On top of the hostages, 11 other people are in custody, Galvez said.

"'Yung 11, hindi pa po natin alam kung miyembro sila ng Maute or hostages," he said. (Translation: The 11, we do not know if they are members of Maute or hostages.)

He added four hostages are still in the hands of the terrorists.

Two foreign fighters, Ibno Kayim and Amin Bako,  whose nationalities were not immediately known, are still being accounted for.

The military has yet to recover the body of Malaysian militant and supposed Marawi crisis financier Dr. Mahmud Ahmad, who was said to be among 13 persons killed by the troops on Thursday.

Galvez said a handful of Maute group stragglers are still making a last stand in three buildings here. He expressed hope the fighting will be over by the weekend.

RELATED: Duterte, military confirm death of alleged Marawi crisis financier

Maute, other militant groups still a threat

The Armed Forces of the Philippines still considers the Maute group a threat despite the deaths of terrorist leaders Isnilon Hapilon and Omar Maute on Monday.

The military is still monitoring the Maute's movement, along with Ansarul Khilafah Philippines (APK), Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF), and the Abu Sayyaf Group.

"Halos napulbos na sila o na-erase na sila pero hindi natin maaalis na maaaring may naiiwan pa,"  AFP Spokesman Major General Restituto Padilla said in a news briefing at Malacanang Palace in Manila on Friday. (Translation: "They (maute) have been been decimated but we cannot dispel doubt that there are others remaining.")

"Tandaan natin, nu'ng 2015 hanggang 2016, nu'ng nagkaroon ng matinding bakbakan diyan sa Butig at sinasabi natin almost na-wipe out na sila. Eh parang ilaw sa kandila na nagfli-flicker tapos nabuhay ulit. So maaaring mangyari uli 'yan," Padilla added.

(Translation: "Remember, from 2015 ro 2016, when there was fierce fighting in Butig, and we were saying that we wiped them out. But they are like a flickering candle. So that may happen again.")

In February 2016, Hapilon and Maute members attacked the patrol base of the Army's 51st Infantry Battalion in Butig town, Lanao del Sur. Later on in the year, they attacked Butig again. This was believed to be a precursor of the Marawi crisis which began in May 23. Butig is more than 40 kilometers south of here.

Related: Scenes of destruction after Butig siege vs Maute

The military on Friday began sending troops back home as fighting winds down.