THE Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) said on Wednesday that there were two “foreign-looking cadavers”, believed to be fighters helping the Islamic State-linked Maute terror group, that were recovered in war-torn Marawi City.
Speaking to reporters in Malacanang, AFP spokesman Restituto Padilla Jr. said that the military recovered many cadavers of enemies during the clearing operations, including one believed to be that of the foreign fighters from Singapore.
“There were two foreign-looking cadavers that were recovered. Initially, they said it was the remains or this could be the remains of a foreign fighter and allegedly a Singaporean,” Padilla said during a press conference in the Palace.
He added, however, that the military didn’t have enough proof to validate the information.
“We are working to do that [determine the citizenship of the bodies found]along with the police. But this goes to show that indeed, there are foreign fighters who are in the area fighting alongside the terrorist group inside,” he said.
Padilla said the military has also retaken Dansalan College, one of the institutions overrun by the extremists when they began their offensive last May 23.
He said Dansalan College was on a hill that gave the enemies a good vantage point.
“Other than that, the college has a lot of good constructed buildings, well-constructed buildings that are very defensible,” he added.
Padilla said the troops were constantly challenged to retake many of the buildings in the remaining four barangay (villages) in Marawi City.
“That is why our troops are continually engaged the whole day as they make their way inside the interior areas of these barangay. We will continue to focus on this kind of operation as we enter into the inner areas of these barangay that are held by the enemy,” he said.
“Our other forces alongside the police who are helping clear other buildings will continue with their tedious task of ensuring that all the buildings that they pass through will be cleared properly of any kind of enemy presence as well as the presence of any kind of traps or explosives,” he added.
As of July 4, the Palace reported that 39 civilians and 85 government troops had been killed. At least 343 suspected terrorists were believed to have died since clashes erupted on May 23.