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Southeast Asia
Report: 8 terrorists surrender with 9 hostages in Marawi
[Inquirer] Eight gunmen believed to be Maute militants emerged from the battle zone in Marawi and surrendered to the military on Wednesday. The gunmen also turned over nine hostages to the military, according to Zia Alonto Adiong, spokesman for the Lanao del Sur crisis management committee. Adiong gave no more details, but he said the development was “clear evidence we are approaching the end of the war.”

Earlier reports said 17 hostages emerged from the battle zone as the military hit Maute positions with airstrikes. But the Joint Task Force Ranao could not confirm those reports. Romeo Brawner, deputy commander of the task force, said he could confirm only the surrender of three Maute gunmen and the rescue of five hostages over two weeks ago and the rescue of Catholic priest Teresito Soganub before that.

Brawner also said he could also confirm the rescue of 1,733 hostages and civilians since May 23, when Maute and Abu Sayyaf rebels rampaged across Marawi. More than 800 people have died in the fighting, including 155 government troops, as of Monday.

Brawner said the military continued to persuade the remaining terrorists in the city to surrender. He said, "We are also trying to convince them to release the hostages and to surrender so that the crisis here will be over, but if they don’t want to surrender and continue fighting, our troops will finish them."

Brawner said it was likely the terrorists would eventually use the hostages as human shields to protect themselves as they escaped from Marawi. Going by information from escaped or rescued hostages, the military said 46 hostages, some of them children, remained in the hands of the terrorists.
Posted by:ryuge