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45 civilians killed in Marawi conflict

By FRANCIS WAKEFIELD

The civilian death toll in the ongoing Marawi fighting has climbed to 45 following the discovery of six skeletal remains in one of the execution sites used by Maute and Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG).

Troops of the Army’s 51st Infantry Batallion found the orange clad remains believed to be the same persons shown executed on video in the early part of the conflict.

The video was posted on the Internet.

Lt. Gen Carlito Galvez Jr., commander of the Armed Forces Western Mindanao Command (AFP-WestMinCom), said the brutal execution is proof of their un-Islamic ways.

“These terrorists do not respect anyone or anything,” Galvez said.

“While these terrorists kill people indiscriminately respecting no one in trying to dissect our land, our soldiers will continue to liberate Marawi bearing in mind that this city belongs to our Maranao brothers and sisters; and this land belongs to the Filipino people,” he added.

Brig. Gen. Rolando Joselito Bautista, commander of Joint Task Force Marawi, vowed justice for the victims of terrorists.

“This brutal and inhuman actions of the Maute/ASG will not go unpunished. Our soldiers will do everything in their power to bring these terrorists to justice. We owe this to the victims, we owe this to our people,” Bautista said.

“We will pursue the Maute/ASG terrorists who attacked and caused the destruction of Marawi. We will make the Maute/ASG terrorists accountable in the destruction of Marawi and the countless crimes they committed against our Maranao brothers and sisters; and the whole Filipino nation,” he added.

There could be more civilian victims of the terrorists, but the current tally is based on recovered bodies, authorities said.

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