MANILA - Ten Islamic State-linked terrorists were killed while attempting to creep into the battlefield in Marawi City where their comrades have mounted a last stand, the military said Monday.
Soldiers engaged in a 3-hour gun battle with the extremists who were on board a 2 motorized pump boats in Lake lanao around 2:30 a.m., the Army's Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom) said in a statement.
Troops recovered 5 cadavers in the area and were still searching for the bodies of 5 other extremists they neutralized.
One pump boat sank during the pursuit operation, the Westmincom added.
"The recent accomplishment of our ground forces only shows the successful coordination made by our troops and the local government units," said Westmincom commander Lt. Gen. Carlito Galvez.
"The plan of the terrorists was earlier reported to us that is why it was easier for patrolling special forces riverine units and maritime policemen to detect and neutralize the movement."
Some 50 to 60 extremists are still holed up in Marawi, down from the hundreds who stormed the bustling commercial district last May 23, Armed Forces public affair s chief Col. Edgar Arevalo told DZMM.
The fighting, Arevalo said, has been confined to some 500 square meters within Marawi, where "child warriors" have joined the rebels. -- With Henry Atuelan, ABS-CBN News