26 May 2017

News Story: Up to 40 militants remain in besieged southern Philippine city - military

MANILA, May 25 (Xinhua) -- The Philippine armed forces continued conducting surgical operations on Thursday to flush out up to 40 remnants of the Maute militant group that remain in the besieged southern Philippine city of Marawi, a military spokesman has said.

"Sporadic fighting continues. The clearing operations continue to flush out the remnants of the local terrorist group. There is no let-up," Lt. Col. Jo-ar Herrera said, adding the operations are focusing on specific targets in at least three villages in the city.

"We are conducting very precise and deliberate surgical operations," he told reporters.

Herrera said that there are still "sightings" of the presence of Islamic fighters in the city.

He said about 30 to 40 militants are hiding in some establishments and using the community or residents as shields to avoid the troops.

"We are using surgical airstrikes and calling on the residents to leave the villages where there are reported presence of terrorists," he said.

Herrera said the military "wants to finish the fight as soon as possible."

Read the full story at Xinhua