MANILA - The military on Monday released photos of suspected Maute terrorists allegedly resting and looting houses in Marawi as security forces continue to hunt them down.
One photo showed 2 alleged terrorists striking goofy poses for the camera inside what appeared to be an abandoned house.
One person was also photographed while apparently napping and holding a high-powered firearm. With him was another suspected terrorist wearing a face mask and holding a rifle.
A third photo shows another man cradling a rifle as he opened a pack of crackers. Beside him were a crate of soft drinks, more snacks and 2 firearms.
Authorities did not give details about how the 3 photos were obtained, but said these prove that the terrorists have been looting houses since the fighting began.
The military said Saturday that it will continue dropping bombs in Marawi to flush out an estimated 80 terrorists still hiding there.
Col. Jo-ar Herrera, Task Force Marawi spokesperson, added that troops have been intensifying ground operations in a bid to rescue some 300 civilians still trapped in the conflict zone.
As of July 7, 366 terrorists, 87 government troops, and 39 civilians have been killed in the nearly 2-month long battle. More than 300,000 residents have meanwhile fled Marawi City and nearby areas due to the firefights.
Mindanao remains under martial law since clashes between state troops and terrorists erupted on May 23. -- With a report by Ron Gagalac, ABS-CBN News