MANILA, July 16 (Xinhua) -- Philippine security forces have yet to clear up to 550 buildings in Marawi to completely retake the southern city from extremists allied with Islamic State (IS), a spokesman of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) said on Sunday.
Army Lt. Col Jo-Ar Herrera said the troops are making advances in pushing out up to 70 militants still holed up in the remaining buildings and mosques in the city's four villages.
In the last 48 hours, Herrera said that the troops managed to clear 60 more buildings previously occupied by the militants.
He said the troops also recovered "many" firearms during the latest raids. Since the military offensive, Herrera said the troops have recovered "more or less 500 firearms from the rebels."
"We are gaining more grounds. The rebel-held area is getting smaller," Herrera said, adding "we are committed and focused to finish the job as soon as possible."
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