Published: Sat, November 04, 2017
Medical | By Garry George

Marawi still 'dangerous place' due to Maute stragglers

Marawi still 'dangerous place' due to Maute stragglers

Col. Romeo Brawner, deputy commander of the military's Joint Task Force Ranao, confirmed that the encounter happened at around 8:40 p.m. inside the main battle area, while Army forces were on patrol.

Syahputra was arrested on Wednesday by operatives of the Marawi City police at Barangay Luksa Datu. Syahputra is believed to have been involved in the siege of Marawi.

The Marawi crisis, which lasted for nearly five months, has left over 900 Maute members and foreign fighters dead.

Police said they arrested the 22-year-old Indonesian in Marawi after village officials found him trying to flee, adding he would face rebellion and terrorism charges.

"Based on accounts of rescued hostages, the ISIS-inspired Maute local terrorist group was reinforced by foreign nationals such as Indonesians, Malaysian and some were even Arabs", the complaint said.

Later on Wednesday, the stragglers engaged security forces that resulted in the killing of Abu Talja, a trusted aide of Hapilon and another straggler.

"The declaration [of Marawi liberation] is not premature".

The Philippine military last week declared the end of fighting in Marawi but admitted there could be "stragglers" in the area after what authorities said was an IS bid to establish a Southeast Asian caliphate there.

The captured Maute members said there are other stragglers left in Marawi, but the military said there is no need to resume operations against the terrorist group because the resistance is insignificant and the city remains well-secured from any attack.

"They are merely fighting for survival so they have no impact on the overall security of the place", he added.

"Our forces remain on the alert, remain vigilant, and will continue to perform the clearing operations until such time that we can guarantee that this place, the last parts where the battle has raged in the last few weeks, is already free of every single terrorist", Padilla stressed.

Padilla issued the statement following the arrest of Muhammad Ilham Syahputra, identified as an Indonesian terrorist on November 1, and amid reports that there were still 36 Maute combatants holed up in the main battle area of Marawi.

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