by: COL EDGARD A AREVALO PN(M)(GSC)
“The Maute-ISIS Group planned to set ablaze the entire City of Marawi within the time of the month of Ramadan,” declares AFP Chief of Staff General Eduardo Año.
“The terrorist Maute-ISIS Group was surprised by raiding security forces in that safehouse in Brgy. Basak Malutlut, Marawi occupied by Isnilon Hapilon – the taunted "Amir" of ISIS in the Philippines,” according to General Año.
These, and much other significant information, were obtained from a very reliable source in the continuing clearing operations in Marawi.
Marine Colonel Edgard Arevalo Chief of AFP Public Affairs declares, “The grand plan to burn down the entire City of Marawi in the ensuing two weeks was unsettled by that raid.
“Hence, what others termed to be a ‘botched raid’ turned out to be an ‘abortive raid’ that prevented what could have been carnage of an Islamic City in two weeks yet.
“And this explains why at the time of the raid, the terrorist group was able to pull out–almost instantaneously and simultaneously–counter actions in various locations in the city to distract the focus of the raid.” Colonel Arevalo added.
So far, the terrorist Maute-ISIS Group has suffered 61 dead and undetermined number of wounded. (42 were physically accounted while 19 were by eyewitness account).
Meanwhile, 37 high-powered firearms including a .50 Caliber heavy machine gun and 4 low powered firearms were seized which totalled to 41.
Security forces has so far rescued or provided safe passage to 390 civilians. There were reports that more civilians are still trapped in the crossfire. So far, 19 non-combatant civilians were killed.
“The AFP pays tribute to the 15 soldiers Killed-in-Action and 61 Wounded-in-Action in its campaign to clear Marawi of terrorists; rescue non-combatants trapped, recovery of civilian casualties, and restore law and order in the city,” concludes Colonel Arevalo.