MANILA - Rebel forces holed up in Marawi have been cut down to their last hundred fighters who occupy a small area of defensive positions, an Army official said Monday.
Lt. Col. Jo-Ar Herrera, spokesperson of the Joint Task Force Marawi, said 257 extremists have been killed in the last 3 weeks of fighting and their remaining members are now running out of ammunition.
"More or less, 100 to 120 ang estimate natin ngayon kasi umaabot na ng 257 ang enemy killed na ating naitatala," Herrera said in a phone interview on radio DZMM.
"Medyo dwindling na. Humihina ang capability nila dahil nga sa report na paubos na ang bala nila," he added.
Up to 400 civilians however were still trapped in the war zone and about a hundred of them are used as human shields by the rebels, according to Herrera.
The military, he said, will refrain from using airstrikes on the position of non-combatants and will instead engage rebels in close combat.
The official also thanked the public for sending truckloads of supplies, food and handwritten letters to state troops on Sunday.
"Kayo po ang lakas namin... Kahapon, in the span of a moment, parang nawala ang stress namin dahil sa ipinaramdam po ng mga kababayan natin," he said.
DZMM TeleRadyo, 15 June 2017