Three soldiers dead, dozens hurt as midnight deadline to clear Marawi nears
MARAWI CITY ? Maute-Abu Sayyaf gunmen killed three soldiers and injured dozens as government soldiers on Sunday tried to free the war torn city of Marawi from the hands of Islamic State-inspired militants.
Col. Romeo Brawner Jr., deputy commander of Joint Task Group Ranao, said three soldiers were killed while 20 soldiers, including a battalion commander, were wounded. The military had said they will try to clear the city on Sunday.
He said most of the wounded soldiers were hit in legs but the official said troops were able to rescue a 16-year-old female hostage.
“Based on the revelation of rescued female hostage, it is unfortunate the women and the children are now forced to fight together with the militants. These are desperate measures that they are doing because it's their last defensive stand,” Brawner said.
“The fighting is not yet over. Our troops is still fighting. This shows how dedicated they are. The enemies have establish a very strong position,” he added.
Brawner said the death toll on the government side is now 163, while 822 from the Maute-Abu Sayyaf group had been killed. DMS