Government troops recovered skeletal remains of six civilians believed to have been executed by the ISIS-linked Maute group in the besieged southern city of Marawi, a military official said Thursday.
The remains were “in a place believed to be one of the militants’ execution sites,” Lt. Gen. Carlito Galvez Jr., was quoted by GMA news.
Washed out by weeks of rain, the remains in orange suits, are believed to be those of individuals terrorists executed in a video released online during the early days of the siege.
“The brutal execution is a proof of their unIslamic ways. These terrorists do not respect anyone or anything.” Galvez said.
The recovery puts the total number of civilians killed in clashes at 45, as of Thursday.
Militants’ fatalities is at 392 while 92 government troops have been killed, including two soldiers hit by “friendly fire” Wednesday.
Despite another friendly fire incident, the military said Thursday it would continue to employ airstrikes to flush out remaining terrorists in Marawi.
“We would like to reiterate that surgical airstrikes are very important in our campaign especially to destroy enemy strongholds and battle positions,” military spokesman Lt. Col. Jo-Ar Herrera said, according to the news outlet.
Herrera said more or less 200 buildings were cleared of improvised explosive devices, fuel bombs and other war materials as a result of the airstrikes.
A military airstrike May 31 also missed its target, killing 10 soldiers and wounding seven others.
An attempt by state troops to seize high-value terrorist Isnilon Hapilon on May 23 prompted militants to stage the assault on Marawi that led to the imposition of martial law by President Rodrigo Duterte on the entire island of Mindanao.