Holdouts from the Islamic State-linked Maute group continue to resist government security forces, hampering rescue operations in Marawi City, a Lanao del Sur provincial official said on Saturday.
“Based on what we [have been]informed by our civilian volunteers, there was resistance from the other side,” Zia Alonto Adiong said in a televised press briefing, referring to the remaining Maute members occupying the city.
“So [civilian volunteers]really weren’t able to rescue number of civilians because there is still resistance [from the Maute group members],” he added.
Adiong emphasized that the committee relied on security briefings by Lieutenant Colonel Jo-ar Herrera, spokesman of the Army’s 1st Infantry Division.
Quoting Herrera, Adiong said that out of the 10 barangay (villages) controlled previously by remaining Maute members, the number has been reduced to four, noting that the six have been taken over by government troops.
“With that assessment, we are hoping that really soon, this conflict [will]be over,” Adiong said. DEMPSEY REYES