ILIGAN CITY -- The Maute group yielded five more casualties as military on Tuesday, September 12, recovered high-powered firearms, including a Night Vision Goggle (NVG), a day after President Rodrigo Duterte visited for the fourth time the main battle area in Marawi City.
Lieutenant Colonel Jo-ar Herrera, head of the Civil Military Operations of the 4th Infantry Division, Philippine Army, said the Marines Special Operations Group under Joint Task Group Tiger engaged with the Maute group in a 30-minute firefight.
"The heavy firefight killed at least five Maute combatants with four of them bodily counted. Two bodies were retrieved while the other two were left on the site. There was no casualty on the government side," Herrera said in a statement.
Major General Danilo Pamonag, Commander of Joint Special Operations Task Force Trident, said the seamless integration of troops’ interoperability with their heightened morale in fighting the enemy has resulted to the quick and deliberate assault of enemy positions.
"This accomplishment shows that the enemy’s hold in Marawi City is decreasing day-by-day. It is only a matter of time that the crisis will end," Pamonag said.
Last month, the Baloi Bridge, which was the stronghold of the terrorist group was recaptured by the government soldiers in exchange of the 13 lives of the marines.
Days after journalists were permitted to get inside Barangay Bubong Madaya, the barangay across the bridge which became the main battle ground of the ongoing atrocities, the government forces took control of the Jameo Mindano Al-Islamie, popularly known as Islamic Center or Grand Mosque.
The militants used this structure as their control and command along with their civilian hostages.
“The troops’ fighting spirit is further boosted because of the strong motivation and encouragement of the Commander-in-Chief. The President’s presence in the main battle area has left a mark in our troops in their strong desire to end the crisis in Marawi,” Joint Task Force Marawi Commander Brigadier General Rolly Bautista said.