THE military has vowed to kill or capture the remaining Maute fighters in Marawi City by midnight Sunday, October 22, unless they surrender.
Colonel Romeo Brawner, deputy commander of Joint Task Group Ranao, said in a press conference on Sunday afternoon in Marawi that they were trying to persuade the remaining terrorists to surrender "as some already did."
"Firefights may continue until midnight. AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines) hopes to kill, capture Maute fighters or they surrender to state forces," he said.
Brawner confirmed that all hostages in Marawi have already been rescued.
At least 30 Maute members, not 10 as earlier claimed by military spokesperson Restituto Padilla, remained in Marawi as of Sunday noon, Brawner said. The number includes the wounded, he added.
Only one building remains occupied by the Maute fighters, down from the five buildings that Padilla earlier reported.
"There is still firefight going on inside the main battle area. But the Maute-Isis is only occupying one building," Brawner said.
"We still cannot determine how many of the 30 are dead or how many are still living, but as of noon today, there is still resistance," he added.
He reiterated the military's target to end the armed conflict in Marawi by midnight.
Fighting broke out in Marawi on May 23, after a botched government raid that failed to capture Isnilon Hapilon.
Hapilon, allegedly the Islamic State emir for Southeast Asia, was killed along with Omar Maute on Monday. His death has been confirmed by DNA tests, US and Philippine officials said.
The conflict in Marawi had prompted President Rodrigo Duterte to declare martial law in the entire Mindanao, also on May 23. This was extended by Congress until the end of the year.
Officials said martial law would not be lifted anytime soon because of the remaining security threats in Mindanao. (Third Anne Peralta-Malonzo/SunStar Philippines)