|Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP)|
By Jaime Laude
MANILA, Philippines - Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana disclosed yesterday that about 200 to 250 Maute and Islamic State (IS) rebels continue to fight government troops in Marawi City.
With this development, Lorenzana, despite declaring in the initial stages of the fighting that the conflict would be over in five days, is no longer giving a deadline for when the conflict would be resolved.
However, he assured the people that everything is being done to end the fighting and to stabilize the situation in Marawi as soon as possible after the Maute group attacked the city last May 23.
“We talked about an estimated 100 to 200 in the initial stage of the conflict, then we revised that to a higher number because when we were able to kill more than 100 of them, the Maute is still strong,” the defense chief said in a telecast press briefing during his visit to the troops in Marawi City yesterday.
He said the focus of the current military offensive is Barangay Banggolo that has been surrounded by government forces.
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