MANILA - The military was able to recover 6 more cadavers in a place believed to be an execution site of the Maute group occupying Marawi City.
Lt. Col. Jo-ar Herrera said state troops found the orange-clad bodies of the individuals who may have been executed by the terrorists in the early days of the siege.
"The skeletal remains are believed to be that of 6 individuals whom Maute terrorists executed in the early part of the crisis, as shown from a video posted on in the internet," he said.
Because of this, the military official said, the total number of civilians killed is now up to 45 since the conflict in Marawi began nearly two months ago.
Meanwhile, Zia Alonto Adiong, Marawi Crisis Committee spokesperson, said the bodies recovered are already in the advanced stage of decomposition.
This means, Adiong explained, DNA tests would be needed to identify the bodies. Marawi residents with missing relatives may report to local officials and have their swabs collected.
"Given the advanced stage of decomposition of the bodies, secondary identifiers would not be sufficient. Hence we need to resort to primary identifiers which is DNA testing," said Adiong.
The local official said for now, they will be burying the recovered bodies in temporary sites and put markers while they await identification.
Despite yesterday's friendly fire incident where 2 soldiers were killed, state troops continue their offensives in the remaining strongholds of the Maute terrorists in Marawi.
President Rodrigo Duterte earlier said the conflict may end in 10-15 days, based on the reports he receive from the ground.