Troops retake Maute strongpoint in Marawi

Camp Ranao, Marawi City, July 4, 2017 – Enemy strong points fall one by one while government troops gradually take over terrorist held structures. Government forces have successfully overran and taken control of Dansalan College, another Maute-Abu Sayyaf Group strongpoint on ground zero main battle area in Marawi yesterday, July 3, 2017.

Dansalan College is host to some high-rise structures that serve as machine gun nest and snipers’ vantage position of terrorist elements. As troops wrest control of the school, they recovered a Cal .50 heavy machinegun and 14 other high-powered firearms.

This brings to 410 the total number of firearms recovered by operating troops in the clearing operations to neutralize terrorists and criminal elements in Marawi City.

A cadaver of a foreign looking individual was also recovered by troops. It is believed that it is one of the reported foreign fighters from Singapore. A total of 11 suspected foreign fighters have been reportedly killed so far.

Dansalan College is one of the establishments taken and partially burned by Maute/ASG terrorist when they attacked the city on May 23, 2017.

This is the same school where the Maute brothers had their earlier education. The acts of destruction landed them in the most notorious and abhorred alumni list.

Brig. Gen. Rolly Bautisa, Commander of Joint Task Force Marawi said: “It will just be a matter of time when our soldiers will fully liberate Marawi from terrorists and criminal gangs who brought mayhem to this city. We owe this to our Maranao brothers and sisters. Our soldiers fully know what is at stake and we will strive together to neutralize these criminals in order to bring peace and normalcy in Marawi.”

As government forces continue to gain ground and foothold on enemy strongholds, a daily stream of civilians are being rescued while battle rages on. Government forces together with civilian counterparts have rescued a total of 1,717 trapped civilians as of this date.

Lt. Gen. Carlito Galvez Jr., Commander of Western Mindanao Command emphasized that the clearing operations put utmost consideration on the safety of trapped civilians.

“Our soldiers together with our civilian counterparts will do everything in their power to locate more trapped civilians and device steps to rescue as many as possible,” Lt. Gen Galvez said.

According to Lt. Galvez, about 300 to 500 civilians are still trapped in the conflict area from the original estimate of 2,000 to 2,500 in the early days.

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