The Daily Manila Shimbun


20 terrorists killed, military checking if Mahmoud among them: Ano

October 19, 2017

The military said 20 terrorist members were killed in a series of encounters in Marawi City and it is trying to find out if the alleged Malaysian financier of the nearly five-month long siege is among the casualties.

Sixteen soldiers were wounded in the operations which began Wednesday night and took place Thursday morning, said Armed Forces of Philippines Chief of Staff Gen. Eduardo Ano.

“Our operations to flush out and deal with terrorist stragglers have been continuing relentlessly since yesterday. Last night's operations have been very positive. We were able to neutralize 13 rebels and we confirmed this. Early this morning, we were able to get seven more,” he said.

Ano said the military is trying to find out from the rescued hostages, a mother and her daughter, that Malaysian Mahmoud Ahmad was among those killed.

“The AFP is increasingly becoming confident that he was among those who have been killed during yesterday’s operations. The process to confirm this with finality, however, is still ongoing. Earlier information regarding this was received from the rescued hostages. We are now working on getting full confirmation,” Ano said.

“One of the rescued hostages revealed that Mahmud was dead and buried last night. We will look for the cadaver,” he added.

“The AFP in the process of yesterday's (Wednesday) operations sustained six wounded. But most of our soldiers who were wounded are safe since most of their wounds are superficial,” he said.

Col. Romeo Brawner, Joint Task Force Ranao deputy commander, said 10 more soldiers were also wounded in a clash Tuesday night.

Barawner said after the liberation of Marawi was declared by the president last Tuesday afternoon, a soldier was killed during fighting at the main battle area of the city.

“After the liberation, we have one soldier killed,” Brawner said.

Ano did not say how many terrorists remain in the battle zone but he noted they are still holding around 20 hostages.

Brawner said the number of fatalities on government is now at 164, while 882 terrorists were killed.

Despite new casualties sustained by the military, Ano assures that the soldiers have high motivation to finish the battle against the terrorists in the city.

“The morale remains very high and motivation to finish the fight is at its highest,” he said. Robina Asido/DMS