From GMA News (Jul 18): 10 Mosul veterans fighting alongside Maute group in Marawi —AFP official
At least 10 foreign fighters have been seen fighting alongside members of the Maute group in Marawi City, a military official said Monday.
A report on Unang Balita by GMA News' Marisol Abdurahman said that according to Western Mindanao Command chief Lieutenant General Carlito Galvez, the 10 foreign fighters are veterans of Mosul, Iraq.
The city of Mosul was the known stronghold of Islamic State in Iraq. After nearly a year, Iraqi forces have taken the city from the terrorists.
The report quoted Galvez as saying that the 10 foreign and Caucasian-looking fighters were seen by trapped civilians recently rescued by troops from the warzone in Marawi City.
The report said according to Galvez, the foreign fighters are "suicidal."
In the same report, the military announced that it had taken Abbas Hospital from the Maute group as troops continued to advance to the local terrorists' position at the heart of Marawi.
The hospital, which was recovered by troops on Monday, was one of the structures used by the Maute group as a stronghold.
The military said at least 50 more buildings in Marawi City have been cleared by troops.
More than 500 people, mostly militants, have been killed in Marawi since the fighting between troops and the Maute group erupted last May 23.
President Rodrigo Duterte placed Mindanao under martial law for 60 days after the Maute group's attack in the city.
The declaration will lapse on July 22 and Duterte is expected to ask Congress for an extension.
The report said that according to Galvez, it may take more days before troops can fully recover Marawi City from the Maute group.
He said among the challenges for the troops in the full recovery of the city were the Maute group's use of mosques and the civilian hostages.