From the Philippine News Agency (Jul 12): AFP clarifies 15-day announcement by Chief Executive on Marawi crisis
The 15 days which President Rodrigo Duterte announced he needs to crush the Maute Group remnants and their rebellion in Marawi City, is not an actual deadline but only the earnest hope of the Chief Executive to resolve the crisis at the soonest possible time.
"The 15 days is a period within which the President hopes the crisis in Marawi (will) end. The AFP will do its best, as it has been giving its level best, to crush the rebellion of the Maute-ISIS Group," said military public affairs office chief Col. Edgard Arevalo on Wednesday.
Fighting broke out in Marawi City after government troops tried to arrest Abu Sayyaf leader Isnilon Hapilon and ISIS "emir" in Southeast Asia last May 23.
"The Commander-in-Chief is aware of the complexities of the ongoing operations because he is being briefed regularly," he said.
The AFP earlier claimed the urban nature of the fighting coupled with the skillful use of sniper nests, improvised explosive devices and hostages is forcing the military units to take a more deliberate approach to lessen damage to the infrastructure and private dwellings and avoid needless casualties.
"Your government security forces' resolute desire to accomplish the mission remain and undiminished," Arevalo said.
As of this posting, an estimated 389 lawless elements are reported killed in the ongoing clearing operations along with 90 government troops.
This information is as of 6 p.m. of July 11.
Also, number of civilians executed by the Maute Group terrorists is still at 39 along while number of rescued individuals are placed at 1,723.
Arevalo said number of weapons recovered has been placed at 494.