Death toll from military "acceptable" - Ano
Armed Forces of the Philippines chief of staff General Eduardo Ano said on Sunday the number of casualties from the government troopers was still "acceptable" even if it already reached to over 50.
In a media briefing in Cagayan de Oro City, Ano said the government forces' fight with the Islamic State-linked Maute group is like a "hybrid war," making the casualty statistics acceptable.
"This is like a hybrid war, a combination of conventional and non-conventional war, like what happened to the Marines; it’s a close-quarter combat, almost hand-to-hand fighting and yet the enemy still [does] not play by the rules," he explained.
He added the Maute militants burned houses, making the situation more complicated.
Ano said because of the enthusiasm of the government forces to immediately clear Marawi of the terrorists, "we are incurring casualties."
While the death toll was acceptable, he, however, said the supposed goal was not to lose government troopers.
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, for his part, said the military has been considering also in its operations the trapped civilians.
"And as this operation goes on everyday, we can't help but incurred casualties," he added.
Since the Marawi crisis started on May 23, 58 government troopers have already been killed, while 191 from the Maute group. (Ella Dionisio/DMS)