MANILA - Authorities are hunting down individuals who backed Islamic State-linked gunmen who laid siege to the southern city of Marawi for 5 months, the military said Monday.
The military last October 23 declared victory over the Maute and Abu Sayyaf gunmen that stormed Marawi, but their terror "networks" are still intact, said military spokesman Major General Restituto Padilla.
"Nagsisimula pa po ang ating pagtutuon ng pansin sa iba't ibang lugar dahil may mga natitirang imprastraktura pa po ito sa iba't ibang lugar o mga networks na tinatawag," Padilla told DZMM.
"Mayroon po tayong mga listahan at alam naman po natin kung ano itong mga grupong ito. Patuloy po ang imbestigasyon nito at hindi po ito matatapos hanggang ma-unveil natin lahat ng network na kanilang nagiging koneksyon."
(We have just started to focus on other areas because their so-called networks remain. We have a list and we have identified these groups. Our investigation will continue until we unveil the entire network of their connections.)
Padilla said troops were also searching for extremist stragglers still hiding in the ruins of Marawi.
Security forces have arrested Sunday, Minhati Madrais, the Indonesian wife of Omarkhayam Maute, one of the brothers that led the attack in Marawi.
Bomb-making materials were seized from Minhati Madrais, who was with her 6 children when lawmen raided her home in Iligan City on Sunday, police earlier said.
Padilla said Madrais, alias Baby, was among more than 100 people ordered arrested by Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana after martial law was declared by Duterte on May 23.
The battle for Marawi was the biggest security crisis in years for the Roman Catholic-majority Philippines, triggering concerns the island of Mindanao could become a magnet for Islamic State fighters driven out of Iraq and Syria.
More than 1,100 people, mostly rebels, were killed in the battle and air strike have leveled the heart of the city of 200,000.
Thousands of residents have started returning home, only for some to find dwellings ransacked.
The main battle area remains off limits, until possible booby traps and unexploded ordnance have been cleared, Padilla said.