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AFP retakes bridge, but loses 3 soldiers

By FRANCIS T. WAKEFIELD

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Friday disclosed a major victory in its quest to retake Marawi City, after troops recaptures a strategic bridge from terrorists Thursday.

But AFP Joint Task Force Marawi and Western Mindanao Command spokesperson Captain Jo-Ann Petinglay said reclaiming the Bangolo bridge from the hands of the Daesh-inspired Maute group terrorists was a costly one as three more soldiers were killed, while 52 others were wounded, mostly because of IED (improvised explosive device) explosions.

Petinglay said most of those hurt only sustained shrapnel wounds and were treated immediately.

However, at least five Maute terrorists were also killed on Thursday by snipers coming from government troops as fighting lasted from morning till midnight.

The Bangolo Bridge is considered a strategic structure connecting western Marawi to the “main battle area” in the east.

Aside from the Bangolo bridge, an additional 16 buildings were cleared by soldiers from IEDs and other explosive devices over the last two days.

At least 300 buildings have yet to be cleared by the military.

AFP spokesman Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla, said the offensive on the eve of Eid’l Adha has been among the toughest so far government troops has enountered.

“We are working to clear the remaining areas where the enemy is holding out. In yesterday’s (Thursday’s) operations we lost three good men and incurred 52 wounded mostly from IEDs, although most were slightly injured, there were a few that were seriously hurt,” said Padilla.

According to the latest report coming from the AFP Western Mindanao Command (WestMinCom), a total of 620 Maute terrorists have so far been killed as of 7 p.m. Thursday, the 102nd day of the Marawi siege.

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