Saturday, June 3, 2017

182 civilians trapped in Marawi City rescued

From the Philippine News Agency (Jun 3): 182 civilians trapped in Marawi City rescued

A total of 182 trapped civilians have been rescued on Saturday as the military vowed to end soon the crisis in Marawi City.

Lt. Gen. Carlito Galvez Jr., Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom) chief, said the soldiers, along with local government workers and non-government organization successfully evacuated 182 civilians from two key areas at the conflict zone in the besieged city of Marawi.

Unfortunately, Galvez said that a civilian was shot dead by enemy snipers while he was approaching the rescuing troops.

“It is the commitment of our troops to exert every effort to rescue all those trapped in Marawi [City] as we clear the city street by street, building by building, room by room and inch by inch in order to neutralize all armed threats so that peace will reign in Marawi again,” Galvez said.

“We hope for the early resolution of this conflict the soonest time possible so that our people in Marawi [City] can go back to their homes and live a normal life again,” he added.

The armed conflict in Marawi City is now entering its second week.

The authorities have earlier imposed a deadline to end the crisis on Friday.

The firefight started when security forces raided on may 23 the hide-out of Abu Sayyaf leader Isnilon Hapilon and Maute leaders in Marawi City.

The conflict escalated as members of the Maute group went on rampage, took civilian hostages and occupied several establishments.

As of Saturday, June 3, the military reported that 120 terrorists have been killed, including foreign militants. Nine Maute members surrendered.

Government forces, on the other hand, lost 38 troopers. Galvez said the total number of rescued civilians has reached 1,236 individuals. At least 20 others were killed by the members of the Maute group.

Brig. Gen. Rolando Joselito Bautista, Task Force Marawi commander, condemned the Maute group for killing the trapped civilian while in the process of being rescued.

“This shows the blatant disregard of this group for the life of innocent people, the people of Marawi. They attacked the City and put the lives of everyone in Marawi in grave danger including women, children and the elderly. It is the people of Marawi who suffered because of their evil un-islamic deeds,” Bautista said.

“We call on our people to stand and unite against terrorism. The fight against terrorism is not the sole duty of the security sector but the responsibility of everyone,” he added.

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