MANILA, Philippines - The military is not discounting the possibility of sympathy attacks from supporters and relatives of the Maute group in Marawi City.
Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP)-Public Affairs Office chief Col. Edgard Arevalo pointed out that so far 513 extremists have been killed, which means retaliatory attacks are possible.
Arevalo said sympathy and retaliatory attacks from relatives and supporters are being considered as possible sources of security threats in other parts of Mindanao which, fortunately with the help of the extension of martial law to Dec. 31, could be prevented.
Arevalo stressed that martial law is an important tool in combat operations and the rehabilitation of Marawi City because the military cannot brush aside possibilities that there will be other groups that would want to worsen the situation and make the government fail.
The AFP cannot say where the possible sympathy attacks could be launched since President Duterte could have had access to information yet to reach the military, he said.
“But we are very firm in our commitment to finish the Marawi crisis, where we are already in the concluding part,” he added.
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