MANILA – Terrorist groups Maute and Abu Sayyaf have shot dead 5 civilians trapped inside a house in Marawi City, Malacañang said Tuesday.
Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella, citing information from the military, said the local terrorists on Monday barged into a house where at least 18 civilians were staying.
Abella said civilians escaped using the house's back door but terrorists fired at the residents, killing 5 people.
The militants also took with them 8 of the civilians while the remaining 5 managed to escape and were rescued by authorities.
About 1,000 residents are believed to be still trapped in the crisis-hit city. Government efforts to flush out terrorists hiding in key spots in the city have been hampered by the presence of the civilians trapped inside their homes.
Abella said that as of Monday, there have been 26 civilian casualties and 58 killed on the enemy side. At least 202 suspected terrorists have been killed since the clashes erupted on May 23.
President Rodrigo Duterte placed Mindanao under martial law after local and foreign terrorists laid siege to Marawi City on May 23.
The clashes erupted as government troops were attempting to arrest terror leader Isnilon Hapilon. The military has said the arrest was meant to preempt a bigger attack by the Islamist militants during the start of the holy Muslim month of Ramadan.