Govt forces rescue 120 civilians from Marawi

May 25, 2017 - 7:44 AM
A military convoy passes through Pantar town, Lanao Del Norte, on its way to reinforce forces in Marawi City. (photo by Romeo Ranoco, Reuters)

MANILA, Philippines — Government forces battling the Maute group in Marawi City rescued at least 120 civilians on Wednesday, the Western Mindanao Command said.

Westmincom also said 13 of the extremists were killed, although only two bodies and an M16 rifle were recovered, while the government lost five soldiers and a policeman killed and 31 other troops wounded since fighting broke out on Tuesday.

The extremists were also reported to have shot dead a security guard at the Amai Pakpak Hospital, which they briefly occupied when they sought treatment for wounded companions. The gunmen also held hostage 78 civilians — eight patients, 49 construction workers and 21 hospital staff — but apparently released them when they left.

Troops also rescued 42 teachers trapped at the Dansalan College, where the extremists burned a building.

Soldiers also recovered a number of bomb components from a safe house of the extremists.