ILIGAN CITY: An estimated 1,000 residents unable to flee Marawi City, Lanao del Sur are feared dead as the military continued to pound jihadists and as air strikes hit homes in Islamic city, civil society groups claimed on Tuesday.
“We fear there are more than 1,000 civilians dead in their homes unrecovered, and it will increase if air strikes continue,” Nasrullah Conding, a Marawi leader who carries the title “Sultan of Bacolod,” told reporters in a news conference.
Conding joined imams, youth and other civil society groups in appealing to warring parties to end the hostilities that have displaced more than 200,000 residents of Marawi.
Of the total Marawi population, only 50 percent were evacuated, Conding claimed.
The groups said that if the AFP gave them permission to pull out bodies from the battle field by suspending attacks, they can get assurance from the other side for the same.
Authorities have recovered only a few bodies of civilians caught in the crossfire, the groups said.
The groups were also joined by Samira Gutoc-Tomawis, a member of Bangsamoro Transition Commission, who confirmed to The Manila Times that she had resigned as a member of the body tasked to craft the Bangsamoro Basic Law that will give wider autonomy to Muslims in Mindanao.
She did not comment about her resignation and instead said she was joining the call for solidarity in resolving the Marawi crisis.