AFP chief: No way out, no way in for terrorists in Marawi
There is no way out for Maute terrorists still fighting in Marawi, and no way in for reinforcements as the battle zone gets smaller, Armed Forces of the Philippines chief Gen. Eduardo Año said on Tuesday.
“If they want to join, they want to go to heaven, we will give them a chance to go to heaven,” he told reporters.
Año said the fighting had been confined to less than 500 square meters, and they are making entry and exit points tight.
“That’s our main goal: no way out, no way in,” he said.
Leaders of the terrorist group are also still believed to be in Marawi City.
“As far as we know, Abdullah and Omar are still there,” the AFP chief said, referring to the Maute brothers.
Isnilon Hapilon, the purported overall leader of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in Southeast Asia, is also still in Marawi, he said.
The Marawi siege reached its 99th day on Tuesday with hundreds killed and thousands displaced. Government forces have captured some of the key Maute positions.
“Deliberately, nakukuha natin yung mga stronghold nila lalo na yung Grand Islamic Mosque. We are happy to say na-preserve natin na hindi ito binomba,” he said.
“We will expect a fierce confrontation with Maute-ISIS as they do their last stand,” the AFP chief said. CBB
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