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‘Dog-eat-dog’ battle in search for food

By: Ali Macabalang

MARAWI CITY – Harrowing stories about the ongoing siege here have gone viral after survivors narrated how they forced themselves to eat canine meat just to stay alive.

Robert Maulana Marohombsar-Alonto, a peace advocate using his real name on his Facebook account said an escaped survivor known to him had confided having witnessed some dogs eating cadavers and non-Muslim trapped residents turning to canines for survival.

Other netizens corroborated Alonto’s post, posting photos taken during the Eid’l Fitr “humanitarian truce” that showed some skeletal remains of cadavers unclaimed in some part of this city who were believed to be casualties of this terror attack by the Maute group.

Tempo interviewed Alonto and other sources by phone Thursday night who attested to the veracity of the story as part of the harrowing plights of survivors still stranded in this war-torn city.

Earlier military report said there were some 100 captives still at the hands of militants, while civilian rescue volunteers claimed that some residents remain trapped in their houses in four villages not yet liberated by government forces.

Two Tempo sources said some of the militants’ captives were being forced to collect bombs dropped by aircrafts in the ground zero but turned dud.

“They (militants) could be exploring the possibility of making improvising explosives out of the dud bombs,” a Tempo informant said in Maranao dialect.

The ISIS-inspired Maute group placed Marawi City under siege since May 23 and has said to have killed about 44 civilians as reported by the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

The AFP also reported that a total of 75 government troopers were killed-in-action while the number of terrorists killed rose to 303.

As the Marawi siege entered its second month, a total of 362 firearms were recovered by the military, while 1,711 civilians have been rescued during military clearing operations.