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Troops rescue 182 Marawi residents

A sniper belonging to the Maute Group allegedly shot dead a local resident who was about to be rescued in Marawi City, even as government troops and civilian rescue workers raced against time to rescue as many residents trapped in the fierce gun battle.

Yesterday, a total of 182 local residents were rescued by soldiers and workers from the Provincial Capitol and Non-Government Organizations (NGO) in two separate conflict areas in Marawi City.

Lt. Gen. Carlito Galvez, commander of the Western Mindanao Command, said they have already rescued a total of 1,236 civilians since the start of the gun battle on Tuesday last week.

“It is the commitment of our troops to exert every effort to rescue all those trapped in Marawi as we clear the City street by street, building by building, room by room, and in inch by inch in order to neutralize all threats,” said Galvez.

He said part of the rescue operations are the risk of being hit by the Maute snipers, similar to the fate of the local resident who was shot while about to approach the rescuing troopers.

A total of 120 gunmen were killed in the latest tally of the military but only 42 bodies were recovered. Nine others surrendered.

On the government side, the death toll rose to 38, including the 11 soldiers who were hit by friendly fire during an airstrike.

Marawi City has virtually turned into a ghost city as thousands of residents earlier freed while the rest living in conflict areas were rescued. (Aaron Recuenco)